Physiotherapy For Incontinence
Getting Help in Norfolk
You are not alone if you suffer from incontinence. As many as one in four women suffer from this symptom. A physiotherapist can help to identify the causes of this symptom. In many cases the solution is exercise and simple lifestyle changes. Read on to find out how physiotherapy may help.
Types of Incontinence that Physiotherapy can Improve:
- Stress incontinence - a leak of urine when the bladder is put under stress such as coughing, sneezing, or playing sport. This may follow childbirth. A longstanding cough or constipation may also weaken your pelvic floor muscles.
- Urge incontinence - a sudden need to rush to the toilet, with leaking of urine along the way.
- Faecal incontinence - leakage from the bowel, which may be due to urgency.
Physiotherapy for Prolapse
If you have a mild or moderate prolapse, pelvic floor muscle exercises may help you. Together with lifestyle changes, exercises may help to ease your symptoms. Pelvic floor muscle exercises can be performed even if you have a ring or shelf pessary in place.
This is often caused by a combination of factors. Pelvic floor dysfunction can be part of the problem. Advice about positioning and exercise techniques can help to restore regular bowel habits. Constipation can make incontinence and prolapse worse, so it is important to address this problem.
Before and After Surgery
If you need an operation for your prolapse, it is still a good idea to strengthen your muscles and improve your lifestyle before your surgery.
This may take up to an hour and will include a discussion about your lifestyle, work and medical history, and may include a physical examination. You are welcome to bring a friend or relative to your appointment. Once your assessment is complete I will discuss your treatment options with you.
Treatments may include:
- Exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor or sphincter muscles - a simple to follow exercise plan will be designed according to your needs and lifestyle - it may take as little as 10 minutes a day.
- Abdominal (tummy) exercises - exercises to improve your deep abdominal muscle tone are useful for some women.
- Lifestyle changes - you may be asked to avoid heavy lifting and unsuitable exercise such as sit-ups or high impact aerobics. Dietary advice may also be helpful.
- Completing bladder charts - your physiotherapist may ask you to record how much you drink, and how often you empty your bladder. Together, you can use the charts to help you to train your bladder if you empty it too frequently. The chart also shows whether you drink the right amount.
- Additional treatments such as acupuncture or electrical stimulation may be advised by your physiotherapist, following your assessment. These can help you to learn how to contract your pelvic floor muscles or sphincters.