Urinary Incontinence Therapy: More Than Kegels
Twenty million adults in the United States suffer from urinary incontinence. And while up to 60% of women suffer from bladder leaks at some point in their life, 30% to 50% of them do not seek treatment. Unfortunately, some women don’t seek treatment because they view bladder leaks as an unavoidable effect of childbirth, or a “normal” part of the aging process. Others may be too embarrassed to seek medical help. And with all of the ads for “incontinence products” on TV, women may simply think that “bladder leaks” are just something they have to live with.
Treating Urinary Incontinence
The good news is that urinary incontinence CAN be treated. There are many contributors to bladder leaks, but one of the most important to consider is the “pelvic floor”. The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that control bowel and bladder functions, affect sexual performance, and support the internal organs. If the pelvic muscles become weak, or if their neuro-motor control is impaired, it can result in urine leakage.
When this is the case, strengthening and retraining of the pelvic floor and deeper core muscles is typically the most effective treatment.
Urinary Incontinence Therapy: Not Just Kegels
Unfortunately, when many speak to their doctor about urinary incontinence, she is simply told to “do Kegels” to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. But it isn’t that simple!
The first problem with this advice is that, according to recent studies, more than half of women do not know how to perform a Kegel properly with only verbal instruction. Further, it turns out that many women actually perform Kegels in a manner that could promote or worsen urinary incontinence.
Additionally, pelvic muscle weakness is not the only issue that causes incontinence – so for some women Kegel muscle strengthening exercises may be completely inappropriate. For example, if a doctor tells a woman who has a tight pelvic floor to “just do Kegels”, the kegels can actually cause pelvic pain!
Urinary Incontinence Physical Therapy
Expert physical therapist Karen Liberi MS MPT WCS, has advanced board certification in pelvic floor physical therapy. During your initial evaluation she will listen to your full story of how your current symptoms started – to get the the “root” of your urinary incontinence. The evaluation may include internal assessment of pelvic floor muscles as appropriate.
Our pelvic floor physical therapists may also utilize Biofeedback, measuring the activity of your pelvic floor muscles, to ensure you are using your pelvic floor muscles properly.
Manual therapy can allow your pelvic floor muscles to activate or relax, as well as assist in improving any scar mobility. And therapeutic exercise – including pilates and yoga – will be used to strengthen pelvic floor muscles according to your individualized to your needs.
As you can see, pelvic floor physical therapy for urinary incontinence is much more comprehensive than just “doing Kegels”.
Toledo Area Urinary Incontinence Therapists
If you are suffering from any type of urinary incontinence or bladder leakage, our certified pelvic floor physical therapists are here to help.
Expert physical therapist Karen Liberi MS MPT WCS, has advanced board certification in pelvic floor physical therapy. She has helped hundreds of men and women in Perrysburg, Toledo, Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan eliminate urinary incontinence, get rid of pelvic pain, and remedy sexual problems with pelvic floor physical therapy.
Schedule Toledo Area Urinary Incontinence Therapy: 419-893-7134 (ext. 5)