What is Incontinence?
Incontinence is a physical condition that affects an estimated 25 million Americans. Men and women of all ages can experience some form of urinary or fecal incontinence.
People suffering from urinary incontinence can experience symptoms ranging from leakage and a strong desire to urinate even when the bladder is not full, pelvic discomfort or pressure, to frequent urination and nocturia. Urinating more than six to eight times a day or more than once every two hours, (with normal fluid intake) is a symptom of incontinence.
Stress incontinence is the sudden involuntary loss of urine during exercise or movement (like jumping, laughing or sneezing) and is due to weak pelvic floor muscles and poor ligament support at the bladder outlet. This condition can also be caused by a defect in the urethral tube. Stress incontinence responds well to physical rehabilitation.
Urge incontinence occurs when the bladder muscle (the detrusor) contracts at the wrong time causing uncontrollable urine leakage as soon as one has the urge to go to the bathroom. These inappropriate contractions can be caused by reversible conditions like bladder infection, bladder irritability after surgery, poor dietary and bladder habits, or problems with the nervous system. Urge incontinence responds well to physical rehabilitation.
Incontinence occurs in twice as many women as men but men can also experience bladder control problems, particularly after prostate surgery. Physical therapists can help both men and women with a program of exercises to improve bladder control.
Although not as common as urinary incontinence, involuntary leakage of feces and gas is just as uncomfortable and embarrassing to those who suffer from it. Weak pelvic floor muscles can contribute to the body’s inability to tighten and close the opening to the rectum. Factors that can contribute to fecal incontinence include chronic constipation (straining to have a bowel movement weakens the pelvic muscles) and trauma to the muscles during childbirth. Fecal incontinence can respond well to physical rehabilitation.
If you think you are suffering from any one of these types of incontinence, please contact Cindy Binkley, RKT, at 419-841-9622 to schedule a FREE, confidential consultation.