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Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence is preventable and treatable and can often be cured with proper exercise and diet changes. Incontinence is not a normal consequence of childbirth or aging and it is not something we just have to live with.

Statistics show that 1 in 4 women experience problems with urinary incontinence. But only 1 in 12 actually seek medical attention, often because they are not aware that treatment exists or they are too embarrassed.

Weakening or lack of use of the pelvic floor muscles can cause uncontrolled leaking of urine. The role of the pelvic floor muscles are to support the organs within your pelvis, increase sex life satisfaction and prevent urinary and fecal leakage. It is normal to urinate 5 to 8 times in the course of a day.

Risk factors include post menopausal, over age 40, having had more than 1 child, urinary tract infections, gynecological or urinary surgery, chronic illness such as diabetes or M.S. and some medications However, urinary incontinence can present in young women and those who have never been pregnant.

There are several types of incontinence:
  • Urge Incontinence - a sudden strong urge to urinate usually brought on by a trigger such as running water, key in the door, sight of the washroom door
  • Stress Incontinence - an involuntary loss of a small amount of urine due to a cough, sneeze or jumping
  • Mixed Incontinence - a combination of urge and stress incontinence
  • Functional Incontinence - due to physical restrictions or mental barriers
  • Overflow Incontinence - a constant loss of a small amount of urine

Physiotherapists trained in pelvi perineal education have been treating urinary incontinence with great success for years.

Treatment should include:
  • Education regarding the urinary system, diet and function
  • Patients are taught to properly perform pelvic floor exercises. Women often perform pelvic floor exercises improperly
  • Muscle stimulation or biofeedback techniques may be used to recruit the difficult to train muscle
  • Manual therapy
  • A urinary diary should be kept

Proper pelvic floor muscle strengthening should be a part of every womanÕs daily routine. With motivation and compliance great improvement can be made regardless of age or how long the problem has existed. Do not suffer in silence.