Treating Urge Incontinence with Physical Therapy

March 10th, 2020

Urinary Urgency is when there is a sudden and emergent need to urinate. “If I don’t, go now, I won’t make it!” If leaking does occur before making it to the toilet, it is called Urge Urinary Incontinence. These type of bladder control issues may be a result of overactive bladder (OAB), prolapse, dietary irritants, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or stroke.

If you are experiencing urge incontinence, you are not alone. In fact, approximately 13 million Americans are incontinent, 85 percent of which are women. And, nearly 40% of women between ages 20 and 45 have OAB. If you are dealing with urgency or urge incontinence issues and you are looking for relief, contact FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers in Dakota Dunes today.

Why am I experiencing urge incontinence?

Symptoms of incontinence include having to urinate often and immediate urges to urinate. 

People living with urge incontinence typically report:

  • Urgency/rushing to the bathroom
  • Overactive bladder
  • Waking up multiple times per night to use the restroom

Incontinence is often associated with muscle and nerve weakness that occur with aging. Additional conditions that may lead to urinary urgency or incontinence include:

  • Pregnancy.
  • Menopause.
  • Weak bladder muscles
  • Overactive bladder muscles
  • Damaged bladder nerves, typically from diseases such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, or Parkinson’s
  • Blockage from an enlarged prostate
  • Difficulty getting to the bathroom in time, due to diseases such as arthritis or poor balance
  • Damaged pelvic floor nerves, due to injury or surgery
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Prostatitis
  • Benign prostate hyperplasia’

What can I do?

Some people living with urinary incontinence may find relief by making simple lifestyle changes. If you have urge incontinence, your physical therapist may advise you to avoid spicy foods, caffeine, and carbonated drinks, as they can irritate the bladder and worsen the issue. You may also need to adjust your fluid intake. In many cases, bladder retraining can also help. This involves gradually increasing the interval time between trips to the bathroom, working up to longer and longer intervals between bathroom stops.

How will physical therapy help?

Physical therapy treatment for urge incontinence will likely include pelvic-floor muscle rehabilitation. Other common treatments for incontinence may include, but are not limited to:

  • Urge suppression strategies.
  • Education.
  • Electrical stimulation for bladder relaxation or pelvic muscle strengthening.
  • Hip and core strengthening. 
  • Biofeedback training.

All around, physical therapy for those who live with incontinence provides a re-education of the pelvic muscles and bladder, so you can live your life comfortably once again. If you have been living with urge incontinence, don’t hesitate to contact FYZICAL in Dakota Dunes to schedule a consultation with one of our highly-trained Doctors of Physical Therapy. We’ll help you live life on your own terms once again!

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