Urinary incontinence is a common condition affecting 1 in 3 women, but should not be considered normal and can also affect men. The types of incontinence are as follows:
Stress incontinence is when increased stress is applied to the bladder for example when sneezing or coughing. A common cause of stress incontinence is pregnancy or other traumas. Weakness and poor motor control of the pelvic muscles is also a cause.
Urge incontinence is a strong need to urinate frequently. Frequent urination is to void greater than once every 2 hours, wake up more than once to urinate in the night and more than 6 to 8 voids per day.
Functional incontinence occurs when one is not able to reach the bathroom in time secondary to difficulty moving or the restroom being too far away.
Mixed incontinence is a combination of urge and stress incontinence
Depending on the type of incontinence, there are a variety of treatments available including behavior modifications, dietary changes, and retraining of the pelvic floor muscles. Behavioral modifications include learning brain over bladder by avoiding using the bathroom when you have a strong urge to go if you have just voided; keeping a bladder diary is also a good way to manage symptoms and determine patterns. Dietary changes include avoiding bladder irritants like fruit juices, caffeinated beverages, and diary. For pelvic training, the abdominals, diaphragm, and pelvic floor work together as a team of muscles to help control our internal pressure system to stay stable in our center and help to control leaks. Several strategies can develop including improper utilization of the team of muscles with static holds or breath holding. When the pelvic floor is unable to relax it can prevent the bladder from completely emptying and breath holding can impede on your body’s natural ability to activate core muscles. With training, the pelvic floor can contract prior to hip movements to prevent leaks during movement and exercise. If you experience incontinence, one of our trained physical therapists can help diagnose the type of incontinence and the best treatment options.
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