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The Truth Behind Incontinence

Have you ever had accidental leaking of urine? If you struggle with urinary incontinence, you may not know that there are actually several different types of urinary incontinence, each of which require different treatment approaches!

One of the most common types of incontinence is called "stress incontinence." With stress incontinence, urine tends to leak when someone is coughing, sneezing, laughing, jumping, or exercising. The increased downward pressure on the pelvic floor overwhelms the pelvic floor's muscular strength to keep the urine in. For this type of incontinence, muscular strengthening of the pelvic floor is what is needed to keep the urine. A lot of people attempt to do "kegels" for this problem, but if you are not performing this movement correctly, kegels can actually make the problem worse! Many people will accidentally push downwards during a kegel or tense up other muscles to help them squeeze the pelvic floor more strongly. Doing these compensatory movements can actually place extra stress on the pelvic floor, making you more likely to leak. A pelvic floor physical therapist can help you correctly perform this contraction to ensure you get rid of your leaking and do not place extra stress on your pelvic floor muscles!

Another common type of urinary incontinence is called "urge incontinence." With this type of incontinence, people tend to feel a sudden urge to go to the bathroom, typically with certain activities like arriving home from work, during a car ride, or when already on their way to the bathroom. This type of incontinence is strongly related to your brain and body's reaction to the sensation of having to go to the bathroom. The body and brain tend to be overly sensitized to the sensation of having to urinate, and this will create somewhat of a panic response that tells the brain to rush to the bathroom. Physical therapy is extremely useful in helping downtrain the brain's response to this sensation through use of relaxation techniques and proper use of pelvic floor muscle contractions to send messages to the brain that it is not time to go to the bathroom yet!

These types of incontinence can occur together or separately, but in either case, pelvic floor physical therapists can help you completely resolve your leaking and feelings of urgency so you can do the things you love without fear of leaking! If you are struggling from any of the symptoms listed above, please contact us - we are happy to help you get back to living a life you love!

Be well,

Pelvic Floor Specialist


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