Incontinence is everyone’s worst nightmare. Luckily, if you do find yourself suffering with lack of control over urination, there is ample evidence that pelvic floor physical therapy for incontinence is an effective option for treatment.

Incontinence isn’t talked about much, but it’s more common than you may think. It is estimated that between a quarter and a third of adults in the United States suffer from some form of incontinence.

Incontinence has many causes, ranging from injury or a neurological disorder, pregnancy and childbirth, hormonal changes or changes following a pelvic surgery, and more. In many cases, strengthening weakened muscles in the pelvic floor is an effective way to lessen or even resolve incontinence.

What is the pelvic floor, and why is pelvic floor physical therapy for incontinence useful?

The pelvic floor is a hammock of sorts, made up of muscles and ligaments that support the organs of the pelvis. As the structure of the pelvic floor work closely together, weakness or dysfunction in any of these can lead to a variety of complaints ranging from pain, stiffness, sexual dysfunction, and yes, even incontinence.

To put it most simply, sufferers of incontinence have bladders that are struggling to communicate and maintain strength. As the bladder refills, it’s extra sensitive receptors cause abnormal contractions which lead to an abnormal urge to urinate. Paired with weakness that is made worse by typical actions like heavy lifting, crouching, coughing, or sneezing, and the result is often, a leakage of urine.

This leakage can be embarrassing and uncomfortable, sometimes even leading to skin eruptions or bladder infections.

So where does physical therapy come in? Pelvic floor physical therapy for incontinence targets the structures of the bladder and surrounding connective tissue and addresses the body’s specific challenges. A weakened bladder can be strengthened and retrained, while a too tense bladder or pelvic floor can be taught to return to a more normal state, restoring normal function.

How to improve the symptoms of incontinence?

Incontinence can happen for a number of reasons, so it is important to be evaluated by a trained pelvic floor physical therapist before beginning treatment.

Based on the cause of your complaints, improving the symptoms of incontinence may include in-office treatment and at-home exercises, avoiding bladder irritants, and anti-inflammatory medications. There are also options for internal electrical stimulation which can help retrain weakened muscles around the bladder, re-sensitizing them and teaching them to contract properly.

While the idea of “homework” to improve your symptoms may sound overwhelming, it can be surprisingly simple. If you’ve ever heard of a Kegel exercise, you’re already familiar with a common pelvic floor strengthening exercise that may be able to help improve your control over your bladder and other pelvic structures.

Together with your physical therapist, you will discuss options and decide what methods of treatment will be more effective for you.

Treating incontinence with physical therapy

Body Restoration Physical Therapy specializes in treating dysfunction of the pelvic floor, including incontinence. Located in Roslyn Heights, New York, our experienced physical therapist will work with you to determine a treatment plan suited for your needs.

Incontinence is common, but it doesn’t have to be permanent. Contact Body Restoration Physical Therapy today and learn how to improve your symptoms today.