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Urinary Incontinence Treatment

Urinary incontinence, or the involuntary leakage of urine, is a physical condition that affects an estimated 13 million Americans. Men and women, both young and old, can experience these embarrassing episodes leading to a limitation in a person's social and physical activity.

Symptoms

Besides the leakage of urine, other symptoms of urinary incontinence include:

  • Urgency (a strong desire to urinate, even when the bladder is not full)
  • Frequency (urinating more than 6-8 times a day, or more than once in two hours)
  • Nocturia (waking up during the night due to the need to urinate)

Common Causes

Some common causes of urinary incontinence include:

  • Bladder infection
  • Diet and/or medication
  • Pregnancy, childbirth, abdominal surgery
  • Hormonal changes associated with menopause
  • Increase in abdominal pressure (coughing, sneezing and straining are so examples)
  • Weak pelvic floor muscles

Treatment Option

Urinary Incontinence is not a natural part of aging. Many people who experience urinary incontinence can be successfully treated through education and exercise to regain control over their bladder ... and therefore their life. The first step is to go to your doctor to make sure you do not have a bladder infection and to get an order for physical therapy. The doctor may also discuss other bladder control methods including medications and/or surgical options. Physical therapy treatment may include:

  • Review of dietary contribution to incontinence
  • Education about normal bladder and muscle function
  • Exercises to strengthen pelvic floor muscles
  • Biofeedback and/or electric stimulation may be used with very weak muscles
  • Review of body mechanics to decrease strain on the pelvic floor muscles

Location

Capital Region Healthplex is located at the Southwest Campus, 1432 Southwest Blvd., Jefferson City, Missouri.

Contact

For further information, contact Carol Sawyer, physical therapist, at (573)632-5614 or e-mail Paula Burnett at pburnett@mail.crmc.org.