Adult Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine that is severe enough to cause a hygienic or social problem (International Continence Society definition, 1990). The loss of one drop of urine is considered incontinence. 13 million people of all ages have urinary incontinence. 80% of urinary incontinence can be improved or cured; yet it takes the average person 5-7 years to seek help for bladder problems.
Causes of Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence is caused by changes in the urinary tract that often result from diseases, weakness of the pelvic floor muscles and/or use of certain medications, food or beverages. Untreated, urinary incontinence can increase the chance of skin irritation, urinary infection, social isolation, depression and embarrassment.
Types of Urinary Incontinence
There are 3 common types of urinary incontinence:
Stress Incontinence – Urine loss while coughing, sneezing, lifting, laughing, or participating in other physical activities.
Urge Incontinence – Strong or sudden urge to urinate with the inability to make it to the toilet on time.
Mixed Incontinence – A combination of stress and urge incontinence.
What are the pelvic floor muscles?
The pelvic floor muscles attach to the bottom of the pelvis to create a “floor” for our internal organs. They support these organs and help stop the flow of urine and the passage of gas. They also assist in normal sexual function.
How can therapy help?
Therapy can help teach you how to locate and strengthen your muscles so they can function normally. Active participation in therapy can lead to improved muscle function, strength, and flexibility. According to research, an average of 79% of patients are improved or cured with therapy intervention.
What should I expect when I go to therapy?
Expect help! Once you have scheduled your first appointment with us, we will need to gather important information to ensure we provide you with the best possible care. A patient information packet will need to be completed and provided to our staff when you arrive for your first appointment. The patient information packet will include a description of what to expect, as well as a patient history questionnaire. Your patient information packet can be mailed to your home or downloaded here.
After a thorough evaluation has been performed, you and your therapist will develop a treatment program. This program will include:
- pelvic floor muscle visual evaluation and treatment
- a bladder schedule to improve bladder habits, education on bladder function and its relationship to the pelvic floor muscles
- biofeedback of the pelvic floor muscles to relearn how to strengthen and improve muscle function
- home exercise program
You will be asked to complete a bladder diary for at least 3 days prior to the first appointment. This entails documenting amounts and type of food and fluid intake and well as voiding patterns. This is very important information to have completely before your first visit.
Each person has unique and different needs, requiring varying amounts of time and visits for therapy. Your plan of care will be based on your individual needs. The average patient requires anywhere from 6-10 visits. In addition to clinic visits, you will receive exercises and instructions for things that you can do in the privacy of your home. For more information please visit Frequently Asked Questions.
Have you heard of Pericoach? They have created a home Kegel exerciser & app to guide women in strengthening of pelvic floor muscles to reduce or eliminate leaks and enhance intimacy. Check out their website!