Do you or someone you know suffer from incontinence? If so, you’re not alone. The National Association for Continence estimates that approximately 33 million Americans of all ages and genders, experience some type of incontinence (1). Pelvic floor physical therapy is recommended as a conservative approach for treatment, and is one of the most effective options for incontinence. At Peake Physical Therapy in Baltimore, MD, we work with many patients to treat and manage their incontinence.
In many cases, your treatment is covered by insurance. Be sure to contact your insurance provider for full coverage details. Schedule an appointment today to speak with one of our pelvic health specialists at Peake PT.
What is incontinence?
Incontinence is when a person experiences difficulty controlling their bladder or bowel function. Incontinence can affect persons of any gender and age, though most commonly affects women who have been pregnant, and those over the age of 50. Causes of incontinence can vary depending on the individual, but some of the most common causes are weakened pelvic floor muscles, pregnancy, childbirth, some medications, hormonal changes, prostate surgery, and neurological issues. There are different types of incontinence with which the symptoms can vary (2):
- Urge incontinence: Leakage is caused by sudden strong urge to urinate. Do you leak when you try to get in your front door? When you hear running water?
- Stress incontinence: Leakage caused by increases in pressure – like sneezing, coughing, and exertion. Do you leak when you run? Sneeze? Cough? Lifting things?
- Mixed incontinence: Can be a combination of Urge and Stress incontinence.
Can physical therapy help?
Physical therapy is one of the most effective approaches for treating incontinence. At Peake we have a dedicated Pelvic Health program to help with pelvic floor issues like incontinence. Studies show that physical therapy can reduce incontinence and improve control in many cases. Physical therapists are trained to use exercises and techniques to improve pelvic floor muscle function to reduce the symptoms of incontinence. In addition, physical therapists may recommend different lifestyle changes, like diet changes to further reduce symptoms.
It is important to remember that physical therapy does not provide an immediate solution – it may take several weeks or months before significant improvement is made.
Getting medical help for incontinence
If you are experiencing symptoms of incontinence, it is important to speak with your health care provider about the potential benefits of physical therapy. With the right treatment plan and dedication to exercise, physical therapy can make a big difference in helping you manage your symptoms.