Incontinence Is Not Just Treatable, It’s Curable

Urinary incontinence, any involuntary loss of urine, is one of those things that nobody wants to talk about. But according to the National Association for Continence, incontinence is something that impacts over 25 million Americans. So why aren’t we talking more about something that affects so many people?

phyiscal therapy incontinence

If you think this is just a problem for the ladies who have had babies, think again. Incontinence impacts both women and men, and a variety of ages. Statistics vary greatly about how many people have incontinence because many people don’t report it to their doctor. One study found 65% of women and 30% of men sitting a doctor’s waiting room have symptoms of incontinence. Other studies of elite female athletes and dancers found that 45-52% reported symptoms of incontinence.

Why are urinary issues underreported? One reason is that it’s embarrassing. Many people don’t report that they have incontinence, and many healthcare providers don’t bother to ask. Not many of us would like to admit that we leak urine. But what if there was something that could not just help, but cure your incontinence without drugs or surgery?

Sadly, many people (doctors included) don’t know that there are physical therapists that specialize in treating incontinence. Now that you know there is help, hopefully it’ll be easier to ask for help!

Understanding the type of incontinence you have is key to getting the right treatment.

  • Do you get that sudden urge and have to run to the bathroom? You may have urinary urgency.
  • Do you make it almost to the bathroom, but just can’t get your clothes out of the way before your bladder starts to empty? Or do you get a sudden urge just as you’re walking into your house, but can’t make it down the hall? You may have urge incontinence.
  • Do you leak a little bit (or more than a bit) when you laugh? Or cough? Or sneeze? Or lift? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you may have stress incontinence.
  • Do you find yourself planning your day around where bathrooms are? Do you need to pee more than 1 time every 2 hours? You may have urinary urgency.

It’s possible for a person to have one or several of the issues above. There are also many different reasons why someone would be experiencing bladder issues – childbirth, surgery, weakness, lack of coordination, dietary issues, infection, and more. If your incontinence started suddenly, it’s important that you chat with your doctor so you can rule out an infection. However, if you’ve had this for years, it’s unlikely that infection is the cause. In that case you can be confident that PT is a great place to start looking for answers.

incontinence physical therapy

A trained Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist can assess your symptoms, your bladder habits, and your pelvic floor strength and coordination. With all of that information, they will be able to work with you to find a drug-free, surgery-free answer to your incontinence issues!

References:
Continence Foundation of Australia- Key Statistics http://www.nafc.org/home.
http://www.continence.org.au/pages/key-statistics.html. Updated 2015.  Accessed October 24, 2015.
Thyssen, H. H., Clevin, L., Olesen, S., & Lose, G. (2002). Urinary incontinence in elite female athletes and dancers. International Urogynecology Journal, 13(1), 15-17.
Poświata, A., Socha, T., & Opara, J. (2014). Prevalence of Stress Urinary Incontinence in Elite Female Endurance Athletes. Journal of human kinetics, 44(1), 91-96.