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
Physical therapists with special training instruct women in
techniques that strengthen pelvic muscles and decrease or possibly
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
It is estimated that 5 million men in the U.S. experience
urinary disorders, including urinary frequency, urinary urgency and
Frequency and urgency may be caused by enlarged prostate or
changes in muscle tone that result in muscle dysfunction in the
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
Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute
Lora Anderson, PT, physical therapy manager