Unable to control that urge? Here’s all you need to know…
62-y/o Tina, when came to my clinic, was a bit shy about discussing her problem. After talking to her I came to know that she is suffering from urinary incontinence. Urinary incontinence is basically any undesired leakage of urine. As per National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney disease, more than 13 million people in USA have urinary incontinence. It majorly involves improper functioning/control of the pelvic floor muscles. One in every 10 persons over the age of 65 experience this. As per Journal of American Medical Association, urinary incontinence affects up to one-quarter of American women.
Why this occurs?
- Pregnancy and child birth
- Pelvic fracture
- Inflammation like cystitis
- Surgery in vagina or rectum
- Lack of exercise and muscle weakness
- Confusion, dilemma, delirium, depression or anger
What can be done?
Incontinence can be treated through a number or ways starting from bladder training to physical therapy, medications to surgery and a lot more. The treatment completely depends upon the cause and based on the severity, your physician decides what’s best for you. You can also consult your physical therapist for better controlling the condition.
How Can Physical Therapy help?
Consult your PT before starting any kind of exercises
- Kegel exercises: It is done by squeezing the sphincter. Imagine you are urinating and try to stop urine. This increases tonicity in pelvic floor muscles resulting in better control of bladder.
- Stretching and strengthening of muscles: Stretching and strengthening of muscles of pelvic floor also helps in gaining tonicity.
- Biofeedback: It can help to make you more aware of the correct ways to use pelvic floor muscles and electrical stimulation can be given to improve awareness of muscle function.
- Knack maneuver: It is a voluntary contraction performed in response to a specific situation. Teach about contraction and its appropriate timing e.g. contract pelvic muscles before cough or sneeze.
Things to remember
- Try to figure out what food irritates the bladder and try to avoid them e.g. caffeine
- Change behaviors that make symptoms worse
- Maintain healthy bathroom schedule
- Maintain bowel regularity
- Keep yourself hydrated
- Maintain regular exercise routine and adapt an active lifestyle
If you are suffering from incontinence, do NOT worry. Urinary incontinence has excellent prognosis and people usually overcome it. In rare cases, surgical intervention may be required. Result may vary from person to person but with PT it may take 3-4 weeks to start experiencing changes in bladder functions. Learn More