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Owatonna Hospital

  Rehabilitation services

Adult Incontinence Program

A program of:

Adult Incontinence Program

To schedule an appointment or for more information, call

Find help through therapy

To avoid embarrassment, many people with urinary incontinence (UI) often choose to stay at home. Fortunately, there is help. At Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute - Owatonna, our physical therapists have specialized training and can help or possibly eliminate UI.

Adult incontinence, or the involuntary loss of urine, affects more than 13 million Americans. It can range from leaking a few drops when you cough, laugh or sneeze to constant dribbling to having the entire bladder empty without warning.

To avoid embarrassment, many people with this condition choose to stay home, missing valuable social contacts that are part of a good quality of life.

Fortunately, you can get help at Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute.

Primary types of urinary incontinence

In most cases, adult incontinence can be cured or improved. The most important step is to talk with your health care provider.

Adult incontinence may be caused by urinary tract infection, vaginal infection, constipation, side effects of medications, weakness of the muscles that hold the bladder in place, weakness of bladder, weakness of urinary sphincter, urinary obstruction (often the prostate in men), hormonal imbalances (women), neurologic disorders, or immobility.

People can experience one or more of these types of adult incontinence:

  • Stress incontinence is uncontrolled urine loss when the pressure inside the bladder exceeds the pressure inside the urethra, usually resulting from coughing, sneezing or lifting.
  • Urge incontinence is uncontrolled urine loss preceded by a strong urge to urinate.
  • Overflow incontinence often makes people feel as though they never empty their bladder all the way, pass a little urine without feeling the need to go or pass urine after they just went. In men, it may be a sign of prostate problems.


People with urinary incontinence are often reluctant to discuss it and generally accept living with it as a lifelong problem. However, studies have shown 80 percent of patients show improvement in bladder control with physical therapy intervention.

Physical therapists at Courage Kenny have specialized training and can help individuals strengthen their pelvic floor muscles and decrease or possibly eliminate incontinence. Kegel or strengthening exercises have been proven to be the most effective exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Women often find these exercises difficult to do and as a result often perform them incorrectly. Physical therapy can help to re-train the pelvic floor muscles in order to use them properly. Biofeedback and pelvic floor muscle stimulators may also be used.

Schedule an appointment

A referral or order from your health care provider is needed before therapy services can begin. For an appointment or for more information, call 507-977-2150.

Source: Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, Rockville, MD, Overview: Urinary Incontinence in Adults, Clinical Practice Guideline Update," March 1996
Reviewed by: Linda Hoffman, certified occupational therapist, manager of Owatonna Hospital's Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute
First Published: 08/02/2002
Last Reviewed: 09/01/2009