Urinary Incontinence (UI) affects 20-50% of Canadian women. It impacts social activities, personal hygiene, sleep, physical activity and work. Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) is involuntary urine leakage with exertion or coughing and sneezing. Urge Urinary Incontinence (UUI) is a sudden and compelling need to urinate. Mixed is a combination of SUI and UUI.
Donna Saal has been working in women’s health for over 25 years and understands the complexity and impact that UI has on women. It has been her ongoing mandate to provide early education to young women experiencing pelvic floor dysfunction of any kind so that these women are empowered and are provided with the care and tools to get better.
How Can a Physiotherapist Help?
Based on the evaluation results, your physiotherapist will create an individualized treatment program to improve your pelvic-floor muscle function. Your physical therapist can help you:
- Gain control over your symptoms
- Reduce the need for pads and special undergarments, incontinence medications, and possibly surgery
- Educate you on your body and if needed provide help and guidance if you are awaiting surgery.
Treatments to Improve Pelvic-Floor Muscle Function
Your highly trained physiotherapist will assess your body, alignment, strength and function of your pelvis and look for key contributing factors to your symptoms. Your physiotherapist will teach you how to "find" (sense the movement of) your pelvic-floor muscles by tensing and releasing them. The physical therapist will design an exercise program based on your condition to help you improve your pelvic-floor muscle function so you can better control your bladder.
Your treatments may include:
- Kegel exercises. The Kegel exercise is performed by squeezing the sphincter muscles or imagining that you are trying to stop the flow of urine.
- Biofeedback. Depending on your symptoms and level of comfort, your physical therapist may gently employ electrodes to measure your pelvic-floor muscle activity. The biofeedback obtained can help make you more aware of the correct way to use your pelvic-floor muscles.
- Muscle strengthening exercises. Your physical therapist will teach you specific exercises to stretch and strengthen other important muscles that help support proper bladder function.
- Electrical stimulation. Your physical therapist may apply gentle electrical stimulation to help improve your awareness of your muscle function.
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