Resolving Incontinence with Physical Therapy
Incontinence is never normal, and can be addressed naturally!
WHAT IS URINARY INCONTINENCE?
One of the primary tasks of the pelvic floor is holding back urine throughout the day. Generally, the body does this unconsciously, and we have to deliberately relax these muscles when we're ready to go. But when the pelvic floor muscles are either overtaxed or weak, urine can involuntarily escape.
If it's the result of a 'stress' like coughing, laughing, or lifting something heavy, it's known as stress incontinence. Urge incontinence is when the urge to go becomes so overpowering the body is unable to hold it back.
Childbirth is the most common - but certainly not the only - cause of incontinence, with more than half of new mothers reporting incontinence.
Incontinence is never normal - it's not a normal part of aging, it's not normal after childbirth, and it's not normal after a surgery or other pelvic trauma.
HOW DOES PELVIC PT HELP?
Incontinence is fundamentally a pelvic floor issue - the muscles of the pelvic floor are unable to perform their task of holding back the flow of urine.
It a common misconception that incontinence is the result of weak pelvic floor muscles. While that's possible, it's equally likely that the muscles are strained or overtaxed, and unable to perform their job. Other factors, like posture, hip alignment, body mechanics, and core strength can all play major roles.
'Just Kegel' is never the answer to incontinence. First, more than half of people can't Kegel correctly with verbal instructions, and about 25% do it so poorly it can actually promote incontinence! But even beyond that, a Kegel exercise should only be a fraction of your home program. The goal is to get those involuntary muscles working in conjunction with your core to restore normal function, not to have to consciously Kegel throughout the day.
Incontinence is also linked with other pelvic floor symptoms, including low back pain, diastasis recti, painful intercourse and painful intercourse.
THE PELVICSANITY DIFFERENCE
At PelvicSanity, your physical therapist will be a specialist in the field and an expert in dealing with diastasis recti and post-natal recovery. Many of our patients have been to multiple doctors for their symptoms before finding success here at PelvicSanity.
We believe full-length sessions are crucial to success with pelvic PT, so all appointments at PelvicSanity are an hour in length and spent entirely with a pelvic floor specialist. You’ll never be hooked up to electrodes, see an aide instead of a physical therapist, or be told to ‘just do your Kegels.’ We create a positive, calm environment for healing in private treatment rooms.
We also believe the pelvic floor can’t be treated in isolation, so your treatment will address both the pelvic floor and the external muscles that connect and influence the entire pelvis for optimal results.
YOUR INITIAL EVALUATION
Your initial evaluation will be an hour in length, and have three major components:
Consultation: Most of our patients have been to multiple doctors, but have never really felt listened to in their appointments. In your initial evaluation you’ll have a chance to go through your medical history with your physical therapist. We’ll listen to you and ask about your personal goals for physical therapy.
Assessment: Next your physical therapist will do a complete assessment. They will look at your posture, hip and pelvic alignment, fascia, scar tissue, and anything else influencing your pelvis. Then they will do an internal evaluation, looking for trigger points and dysfunction within the pelvic floor muscles.
Treatment: We also want to know how your body responds to treatment, so your initial evaluation also includes targeted treatment. You’ll also leave with ‘homework’ that you can be doing in between your visits to build on the improvements with physical therapy.
More than 50% of us experience incontinence, but less than half seek medical treatment. Many are simply handed medications, told to 'Just Kegel', or resigned to wearing pads. Just a few visits of physical therapy can permanently correct the underlying problem - pelvic floor muscles that aren't able to do their normal job!
Of new mothers experience incontinence following delivery.
The second I walk through the door at Pelvic Sanity, I instantly feel better. The environment is wonderfully calming, and I know I'm always in good hands.
The entire core and pelvic floor needs to work together to active the involuntary muscles that keep us continent throughout the day.