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Managing Bladder Health: Understanding and Addressing Urinary Incontinence

Updated: Apr 3

What is Urinary Incontinence? Urinary Incontinence is any undesired or accidental leakage of urine.

Urinary Incontinence can happen for many reasons, such as:

  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs)

  • Certain medications—diuretics, blood pressure medications, sedatives, muscle relaxants

  • Weak bladder and/or pelvic floor muscles

  • Blockage from an enlarged prostate gland in men

  • Damage to the nerves that control the bladder or pelvic floor muscles

  • Long-term constipation

Complications of chronic urinary incontinence include:

  • Rashes, skin infections, and sores

  • Increased risk for repeated urinary tract infections (UTIs)

  • Decreased quality of life

Physical therapists can design treatment programs to help people with urinary incontinence regain control over their symptoms, reduce the need for medication and possible surgery, and decrease the need for pads or special undergarments.

Here are some of the different types of urinary incontinence:

  • Stress Incontinence- Urine leaks as pressure is put on the bladder, such as during exercise, coughing, or sneezing

  • Urge Incontinence- A sudden need to urinate and can’t hold their urine long enough to get to the toilet

  • Overflow incontinence- Small amounts of urine leak out of a bladder that is always full due to trouble emptying

  • Functional Incontinence- Occurs in people who have normal bladder control, but have a problem getting to the toilet due to conditions or disorders that make it hard to move quickly (i.e. arthritis)

Physical Therapy Treatment Options include:

  • Pelvic muscle exercises

  • Biofeedback

  • Timed voiding

  • Percutaneous Tibial Neuromodulation (PTNM)

  • Education related to lifestyle changes

  • Electrical stimulation

  • Developing healthy bladder habits

To learn more and discuss options for treatment reach out to POST Rehab and Wellness.

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