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Urinary incontinence

  • Urinary incontinence in women

    Women with urinary incontinence are often reluctant to discuss it and generally accept living with it as a life-long problem.

    However, studies have shown that 80 percent of patients show improvement in bladder control with physical therapy intervention.

    Physical therapists with special training instruct women in techniques that strengthen pelvic muscles and decrease or possibly eliminate incontinence.

    Pelvic floor strengthening exercises have been proven to be effective when performed correctly. Physical therapy helps to re-train the pelvic floor muscles in order to use them properly. Pelvic floor stimulators may also be used in treatment.

    Through biofeedback, women can actually see improvement in pelvic floor strength and endurance. Biofeedback is also helpful in showing if the correct muscles are being used during pelvic floor strengthening exercises.

    Urinary incontinence in men

    It is estimated that 5 million men in the U.S. experience urinary disorders, including urinary frequency, urinary urgency and urinary incontinence.

    Frequency and urgency may be caused by enlarged prostate or changes in muscle tone that result in muscle dysfunction in the pelvic floor.

    Incontinence in men may be caused by neurological or degenerative conditions, but often is indicative of prostate issues or is a result of prostate surgery.

    The latter typically causes a change in bladder compliance due to routine removal of the internal sphincter and sometimes damage to the external sphincter.

    Consequently, the pelvic floor muscles may have difficulty compensating for the change in sphincter function.

    Instruction in normal bladder function and efforts to restore normal elimination patterns and habits are key to physical therapy intervention for urinary dysfunction in men. Treatment may include pelvic floor exercise, behavioral modification and/or biofeedback.