Should You Go With The Flow?
According to the National Association for Continence, more than 25 million people in the United States have urinary leakage daily and 75-80% of those are women. As a woman, you may have been told that urinary leakage is normal because you have been pregnant, given birth, had a hysterectomy, or because of your age. Urinary incontinence is NOT NORMAL. It affects your daily life and there is treatment available through
physical therapy to get your life back on track.
There are different types of incontinence that your therapist will be able to identify through evaluation and examination.
Stress incontinence occurs when pressure is placed on the bladder. This usually happens with coughing, sneezing, laughing, lifting, or jumping. This is the most common type of incontinence.
Urge incontinence is defined by the sudden urge to urinate. This frequently happens when you get home and put your key in the door.
Functional incontinence occurs when you are unable to get to the restroom in time due to physical or mental impairment.
Mixed incontinence is a combination of any of the above types.
There are multiple causes of urinary incontinence: pregnancy and childbirth, age related changes, menopause, hysterectomy, and overactive/irritable bladder. Bladder irritants include certain medications, caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, carbonated drinks, and citrus fruits/juices.
You may ask, “How can physical therapy help incontinence?” The first step is speaking to your primary care physician, OB-GYN, or urologist about obtaining a referral for physical therapy. Once you have established an initial evaluation with a pelvic floor physical therapist, the process if fairly simple. The first session will be an information session. Your therapist will ask questions pertaining to your health history, diet, activities, and frequency and duration of voiding. You will be provided a bladder diary to record intake and output of fluids to complete before the next appointment. Based on the information and measurements the therapist collects exercises, relaxation techniques, and diet modifications may be provided. With a little assistance, your pelvic floor physical therapist can help you get your life back.
Dr. Ferguson, PT, DPT at the Milton location for any questions
1. National Association for Continence 2. www.womenshealth.gov