Are You Accepting Incontinence by Mary Danielson, PT, DPT

Feb 13, 2018

Most people believe that incontinence is an acceptable part of aging whether that is at 50 years or 80! I’ve heard people say, “Well, I had babies and therefore, I have a little leakage” or “Isn’t it funny that when I laugh really hard, I pee my pants?!” Well, I say…It’s not funny and don’t accept loss of urine!!
Urinary incontinence (UI), also known as involuntary urination, is any uncontrolled leakage of urine (as defined by Wikipedia). The process of emptying the bladder is a complex process that includes the brain centers, innervation of nerves, bladder sensation, storage phase and urination signals. We have “store” and “pee” reflexes. If there is a disruption in this complex process, incontinence can occur.
The pelvic floor is made up of a group of muscles, connective tissues that attach to the front, back and sides of the pelvic bones, sacrum and coccyx (tailbone). These muscles support the pelvic organs and wrap around the urethra, rectum and vagina. Coordination with muscle contraction and relaxation is essential in the control of the function of the bowel and bladder.
Something as simple as bladder habits can actually lead to dysfunction. If we delay toileting we can overstretch the bladder or voiding “Just in Case” can lead to frequency. The normal frequency of urination is 4 to 8 times per day (in a 24 hour period)! Think about that!
Greater than 25 million Americans suffer from urinary incontinence alone. One out of every five American suffers from some type of pelvic floor dysfunction in their lifetime. That is an enormous amount of people suffering from something that can be addressed and treated by a specialized physical therapist. This is not just a female problem but also a male problem.
The role of a specialized physical therapist in the treatment of pelvic floor dysfunction is the ability to design an appropriate rehab regimen for the weak, tight, spasmed and/or uncoordinated pelvic floor muscles. Physical therapy treatment may include external/internal manual therapy, biofeedback, electrical stimulation, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, deep tissue massage, therapeutic exercises, education and retraining function.
Now take control of the issue and seek professional physical therapy help.
Don’t accept incontinence!!



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