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Can pelvic health physiotherapy help with urinary incontinence?

Can pelvic health physiotherapy help

Most people are comfortable talking about their diabetes or osteoporosis, but some medical conditions are harder – and more embarrassing – to discuss. One of these is urinary incontinence, which can affect as many as 13 million Americans. It’s important to seek help, and pelvic health physiotherapy can help alleviate the symptoms of incontinence, as well as reduce bladder leaks.

Urinary incontinence is caused by weak or damaged muscles that control the urethra and bladder (or pelvic floor). A Pelvic Health Physiotherapy East Sheen can teach you to strengthen these muscles and improve your bladder and bowel function. Your therapist will use an objective and subjective evaluation to determine the cause of your incontinence and identify short and long-term goals for treatment.

Typically, your therapist will prescribe exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscle and improve mobility and stability. These may include breathing and relaxation exercises to relax tight muscles and manual stretching of the muscle or tissue. Other techniques to treat the underlying cause of the dysfunction may include dry needling (using acupuncture-like needles) to reset trigger points, electrical stimulation to increase muscle strength and normalize nerve activity and low-level laser therapy to heal at a cellular level.

Can pelvic health physiotherapy help with urinary incontinence?

Some types of urinary incontinence, including urge and mixed urinary incontinence, are related to sphincter muscle weakness or damage. Sphincter muscle dysfunction can be caused by pregnancy and childbirth, as well as certain medications or surgeries. Your therapist will educate you about bladder and bowel training, which is a set of exercises that helps to train the muscles to contract and relax and to improve muscle strength and coordination. Patients learn to perform a daily exercise regimen that includes between 45 and 60 paired contractions and relaxations of the muscle.

Your therapist may also recommend some lifestyle changes to help decrease the frequency and severity of incontinence episodes. This includes learning how to correctly perform the muscle exercises, avoiding bladder irritants and drinking lots of fluids, and practicing regular, timed bathroom visits. In addition, if your bladder leaks are due to urinary urgency or constipation, changing your diet can reduce the amount of fluid you drink to prevent liquid overload.

In most cases, you will need to commit to regular PT sessions and home exercises to see improvement in your bladder and bowel function. This will require a commitment of money and time, but it can potentially save you thousands of dollars over the course of your life by eliminating or dramatically reducing bladder leaks and the need for pads or medication.


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