“I just pee a little bit every time I sneeze, but that’s what happens when we get older!”
I’ve heard this phrase more times than I can count. Unfortunately, too many men and women consider urinary incontinence a normal part of life.
Let me be the first to tell you that no matter your age, urinary incontinence of any kind is NOT normal.
You should not need to go through the hassle of buying urinary incontinence pads. You should not leak during certain movements or exercises. You should not have to suffer the embarrassment of not reaching a bathroom in time.
According to the National Association for Continence, approximately 25 million Americans regularly experience incontinence. About 1 in 5 adults over 40 years of age deal with incontinence.
Many adults don’t realize that incontinence treatments such as pelvic floor physical therapy are proven highly effective at curing most cases of incontinence.
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Why bother paying for urinary pads and letting bladder accidents disrupt your life when treatment is often successful and easily accessible?
Stop suffering from the embarrassment and frustrations of incontinence.
No matter what your age is, how long you’ve had urinary incontinence, or how many treatments you’ve tried – achieving permanent relief is possible.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about urinary incontinence and how you can get rid of this condition, for good.
Types of Urinary Incontinence
There are different types of urinary incontinence; however, the treatment plan is often similar for each type of incontinence.
Functional Incontinence: You cannot make it to the restroom in time due to a limitation (such as a bad back, bad knees, etc.) and cannot hold your bladder for the extra amount of time it takes you to reach the restroom.
Overflow Incontinence: You experience a constant dripping of urine because your bladder cannot empty completely when you use the restroom
Stress Incontinence: You experience a urine leakage when you place stress on the bladder, such as when sneezing, coughing, laughing, lifting a heavy object, or exercising
Urge Incontinence: You experience an urgent need to urinate, which results in urination before reaching a restroom. If you have urge incontinence, you may also urinate frequently. People with urge incontinence often experience sleeping problems due to a need to urinate several times during the night.
Mixed Incontinence: You experience more than one of the above types of incontinence. Mixed incontinence is common among people who have incontinence.
To learn more about the different types of urinary incontinence, speak with your doctor and contact a pelvic floor physical therapist. A pelvic floor physical therapist is a licensed Doctor of Physical Therapy who specializes in pelvic floor conditions such as urinary incontinence.
How to Get an Accurate Diagnosis
The best way to get the most accurate diagnosis of urinary incontinence is to make an appointment with a pelvic floor physical therapist. Pelvic floor physical therapists can accurately determine what type of urinary incontinence you have and what is causing the incontinence.
Typically, pelvic floor physical therapists will find that loose or weak muscles are responsible for urinary incontinence; however, they may run further testing to verify that the incontinence is not due to more serious issues such as an infection.
What Causes Urinary Incontinence?
Urinary incontinence is caused by a lack of control over the urinary sphincter. You may experience this lack of control for various reasons; however, most cases of urinary incontinence in otherwise healthy adults arise from muscle or nerve damage in the pelvic region or weak pelvic floor muscles.
To pinpoint the exact cause of your urinary incontinence, consider speaking with a pelvic floor physical therapist, who is trained to accurately identify the underlying cause of pelvic floor disorders such as incontinence.
The Best Treatment for Urinary Incontinence
If your urinary incontinence is not caused by a serious condition such as an infection or nervous system damage (as seen in patients with dementia), the best treatment for urinary incontinence is pelvic floor physical therapy.
Many patients that visit our pelvic floor physical therapy clinic were prescribed treatments by their doctors such as medications or surgeries that were unsuccessful (not to mention invasive and full of potential side-effects).
Of course, the medications and surgeries did not fix the patients’ urinary incontinence because these treatments did not cure the underlying cause – which is usually weak pelvic floor muscles.
Pelvic floor physical therapy is the best treatment for most cases of urinary incontinence because it fixes the cause rather than just the symptoms.
Your pelvic floor physical therapist will help you to improve the overall functioning of your pelvic floor muscles so that you can finally have control over your urinary sphincter.
Here’s how your pelvic floor therapist will give you an effective treatment plan that treats the underlying cause, therefore eliminating the issue for good:
Pelvic Floor Strengthening Exercises
There aren’t any medications or surgeries available to build muscular strength, so its no surprise that medications and surgeries don’t improve most cases of urinary incontinence.
Just like we would hit the gym to strengthen any other muscle in our body, we need to perform strengthening exercises for our pelvic floor muscles to make them stronger.
Chances are you’ve heard about Kegel exercises and perhaps have tried them. Kegels are a type of pelvic floor strengthening exercise practiced by both women and men. While performing a Kegel you are contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles to strengthen them.
Without guidance from a pelvic floor physical therapist, it is difficult to tell if you are performing pelvic floor strengthening exercises such as Kegels correctly. Many of my patients are shocked when I tell them they’ve been performing their Kegels incorrectly.
Once I help my patients correct their techniques, it often makes a world of difference. Seeing a pelvic floor physical therapist will ensure you are not wasting your time by performing exercises incorrectly.
Biofeedback is a technique in which sensors are placed near your pelvic floor muscles and on your abdomen to monitor how your pelvic floor muscles are functioning. Biofeedback will show a graph of your pelvic floor muscles on a computer screen as you practice pelvic floor exercises.
Numerous scientific studies have shown that biofeedback is successful in helping patients perform exercises such as Kegels correctly. A pelvic floor physical therapist will point to the screen to show you which muscles need to contract and relax during your pelvic floor exercises.
Patients who use biofeedback are more confident when going home to perform their pelvic floor exercises. The visual guide provided by this technique helps many patients remember how a pelvic floor exercise should feel when performed correctly.
Your pelvic floor physical therapist may apply tape to support weak pelvic floor muscles. This tape can allow your pelvic floor muscles to function more efficiently and therefore reduce the severity of your incontinence.
One of my goals as a pelvic floor physical therapist is to use my expertise of pelvic floor conditions to educate patients.
Pelvic floor physical therapists will answer any questions that a patient has about incontinence. They will also teach their patients how to modify certain activities and make specific lifestyle changes (such as adjusting their diet and reducing caffeine intake) to help eliminate incontinence.
Stop Letting Incontinence Disrupt Your Life – Here’s How You Can Get Rid of it Once and For All
Relief from incontinence is a quick click or phone call away. Our pelvic floor physical therapy team has helped many patients enjoy life uninterrupted by bladder problems.
Click here or call to 239-223-0484 schedule a FREE discovery visit with one of our pelvic floor physical therapists.