What is Incontinence?
Incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine and occurs for many reasons. Incontinence is usually classified as Stress, Urge or Mixed Incontinence which is a combination of the first two types.
Stress Incontinence is defined as urine loss that occurs when coughing, laughing, or exercising as a result of pressure on the bladder. Urge Incontinence results in a sudden uncontrollable need to empty the bladder. Unfortunately many women are too embarrassed by the problem to mention it to their doctor. As the problem progresses women often become less social, less active and dependent on medications or adult pads and diapers.
To support normal bladder functions, a woman must have strong pelvic muscles. Weaknesses in the pelvic muscles are due to changes that happen in normal aging; during and after pregnancy; and also with or after illness, stress or surgery.
How we address the problem:
Most Incontinence problems can be treated without medication or surgery. An evaluation by our caring and sensitive female physical therapists often includes using biofeedback to determine the amount of strength in the pelvic floor muscles. After determining the level of strength the patient is given a specific program of strengthening exercises, relaxation techniques and behavioral strategies to assist in overcoming the problem. Other modalities such as electrical stimulation may also be included for patients with extremely weak muscles and or a need to reeducate the pelvic muscles.