*Effects 1/3 of all women, as well as, 3-11% of all men
*Defined in 4 categories, but, overall any complaint of involuntary leakage of urine
*Stress- A leakage of small amounts of urine when there is increased pressure on the bladder. This pressure can come from exertion such as, coughing, sneezing, jumping or lifting. The underlying source of leakage is typically weak pelvic floor muscles.
*Urge- A leakage of medium to large amounts of urine when a person feels a sudden strong urge to urinate. May be due to poor sensation (unable to tell bladder is full), neurologic deficits due to stroke, or an enlarged prostate in men.
*Mixed- a combination of stress and urge
*Functional- Occurs when a person cannot get to the toilet in time. This can be due to a physical disability requiring an assistive device for mobility, confusion, depression or environmental barriers (too many items to navigate around).
Pelvic Floor Muscles: attach to the pelvic bones and run front to back creating a bowl like structure that helps to support and lift the pelvic organs and controls the sphincter muscles
Although urinary incontinence is common, it is NOT a normal part of aging or a normal consequence of childbirth. It is a barrier to regular physical activity and is a socially embarrassing condition that can lead to social withdrawal and a reduced quality of life.
Physical therapy can help one recover control of your bladder through:
• Exercises to help strengthen and re-train the pelvic floor muscles
• Physiologic quieting techniques (behavior training) to reduce habits that may be increasing symptoms
• Education on diet and nutrition to avoid food and drinks that may aggravate incontinence
• Teaching of techniques that help stretch and strengthen associated musculature
Physical therapy can reduce the need for medications and possibly prevent the need for surgery
If you have been experiencing any of the symptoms above please be sure to schedule an appointment to see if you are a candidate for care.