Millions of people suffer from involuntary loss of urine called Urinary Incontinence (UI). Women are twice as likely to be affected by UI as men. Pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, and the structure of the female urinary tract account for this difference. But men can also suffer, especially after prostate surgery. Both men and women can suffer from UI due to neurologic injury, birth defects, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and physical problems associated with aging.
Many believe bladder issues are inevitable as they age. Bladder problems are not normal at any age and the great thing is there is a lot that can be done about it. No single treatment works for everyone but many can find improvements without surgery. Our physical therapist, Kim Gordon begins with a thorough evaluation including a history of the problem to help determine why you are having trouble. There are many hands on treatments that can also help certain types of problems. Even things as simple as helping to gain better control of your posture through massage or stabilization exercises, like Pilates-based exercises can decrease your issues. Each treatment program is created based on you specifically, helping you overcome UI.
Managing Bladder Problems
There are three types of UI. They include:
- Stress Incontinence: small volume leakage with coughing, sneezing, or exercise. Continuous dribbling can occur in women with incomplete closure of the urethra.
- Urge Incontinence: large volume, patients complain of urgency and frequency may include nocturia (loss of urine at night).
- Mixed Incontinence: combination of both stress incontinence and urge incontinence.
Regardless of what type of bladder problems you are facing, there is a physical therapy program designed to help you. Your treatment may include training certain muscles to improve bladder control, teaching you a voiding schedule that can increase your success, and making little changes to your diet that could be contributing to the problem.
There are ways you can work on your bladder problems. Kegels are a great place to start. Tighten your pelvic floor muscles by stopping the flow of urine. Try to not tighten your buttocks, inner thighs, or tummy muscles at the same time. Start by holding these for 3-5 seconds and do 10 at a time. Do these 3 times per day starting out. The reason learning these from a physical therapist is helpful is that they are often performed incorrectly and therefore do not help.
Pelvic Pain Treatment
If you are faced with pelvic pain physical therapy can also provide you with a way to alleviate your symptoms. The pelvic bone is one of the strongest bones in the body but there are many instances where it could be fractured or injured. Car accidents, workplace accidents and sporting injuries can all result in a pelvic injury.
With the right rehabilitation program and possibly the help of other health professionals, you will learn how to strengthen this part of your body and gain control over the problem.
Contact ActivePT to set up an appointment to discuss your bladder control problems and pelvic pain at 507-322-3460.