Physical Therapy for Incontinence

Incontinence is a condition that targets the urinary system. Most individuals who are diagnosed with incontinence will experience bladder control issues and leaking accidents as effects of their condition. Incontinence impacts the lives of many people, at all different stages of life. Incontinence is usually caused by a disruption to the urinary system that keeps things from running smoothly. When there is a disruption to your urinary system, your body may not have time to react and find a restroom, which can result in a urinary leakage.

At Evolution Physical Therapy, we’re here to help you find the best physical therapy plan and treatments to help you manage any incontinence you may be experiencing. Our team of educated and experienced physical therapists will find the best solution that fits your needs. We know incontinence can be worrisome, but there is no need for it to impact your work, sports, or just day-to-day life.

What Causes Incontinence?

Incontinence is different for everyone who experiences it- which also means that there are numerous different causes. Individuals who are experiencing incontinence may be experiencing short-term incontinence or long-term, also known as “total”, incontinence. Different causes of incontinence may be:

  • Pregnancy/Childbirth: Incontinence is very common in women who are pregnant and also postpartum mothers. During pregnancy, extra pressure is placed on the bladder, which can oftentimes cause incontinence. After childbirth, it is also common for mothers to experience short-term incontinence due the pressures put onto the body during the birthing process.
  • UTI (urinary Tract Infection): A UTI is an infection that impacts all components of the urinary system, such as the bladder, kidneys, urethra, and ureters. UTIs often make individuals feel pressure on their bladder, causing them to have to urinate more frequently. This can cause short-term incontinence, but can also be easily treated through medications.
  • Stroke: Individuals who have suffered from a stroke can oftentimes experience incontinence due to loss of muscle control, including the muscles that maintain and regulate urinary functions.
  • Enlarged Prostate: Males who are dealing with enlarged prostates can often experience bladder control issues that lead to incontinence. In the case of an enlarged prostate, incontinence may also be referred to as BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia). 
  • Pelvic Floor Disorders: Individuals who experience pelvic floor issues or loss of strength in their pelvic floor muscles, may experience incontinence, due to impact the muscles have on your organs, including the bladder.

What is the Cause of Incontinence?

There are so many different factors that can lead to disruptions in the urinary system that cause incontinence. Each individual’s experience with incontinence will be different- some people will be experiencing long-term incontinence, while others are dealing with short-term incontinence. In terms of individuals who may be experiencing chronic or long-term incontinence, some causes may be diabetes, pelvic floor disorders, menopause, enlarged prostate, multiple sclerosis, or stroke. In individuals who may be experiencing short-term or temporary incontinence, some causes may be pregnancy or childbirth, medications, UTIs, constipation, or consuming drinks like coffee or alcohol, that are diuretics.

Can Physical Therapy Help Incontinence?

While many individuals see incontinence as a condition that they need to live with, there are actually many ways to manage and lower the impacts of incontinence. Treatments such as medications, procedures/surgeries, and of course physical therapy can all help to manage incontinence. Here at Evolution Physical Therapy, our team can create a plan that can help you manage the effects of incontinence. The most effective physical therapy technique when dealing with incontinence is pelvic floor therapy. Pelvic floor therapy is done with a regiment of exercises such as kegels, that will strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. The strengthening of the pelvic floor muscles can allow individuals to regain control over their bladder and reduce leaks.

There are numerous physical therapy techniques and approaches that can be taken when trying to help patients who are dealing with incontinence. At Evolution Physical Therapy, our team may guide you through physical therapy for incontinence using practices such as:

  • Pelvic Floor Exercises (ex. Kegels)
  • Electrical Stimulation for muscle function
  • Biofeedback 
  • Exercises to eliminate excess body weight
  • Ultrasounds to improve muscle coordination

When to see a Physical Therapist for Incontinence

If you’re coping with incontinence, seeing a physical therapist can help.  Regardless of if your provider has referred you to physical therapy, or you want to start your journey with non-invasive treatment like physical therapy,  your next steps will be setting up an appointment. At Evolution Physical Therapy, we have locations in California, Colorado, Connecticut, and Long Island, with specialist PT providers that offer a range of physical therapy services and help to provide you with the treatment, education, and additional support you need on your road to recovery. Reach out to us today, by calling us to set up an appointment at a location near you, or filling out our Request an Appointment form.