Do you sometimes leak urine when you cough, sneeze, exercise or lift objects? If so, you may have condition called “stress incontinence.” If you often feel a sudden, strong and uncontrollable need to urinate, you may have “urge incontinence.” “Mixed incontinence” is a combination of both of these symptoms. Women and men of all ages can experience incontinence. It is caused by a weakening of muscles in the pelvic floor that may occur as the result of aging, chronic constipation or chronic coughing, pregnancy and childbirth. While incontinence is common, you do not have to live with it. You can be treated by a physical therapist, who will work with you to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and, if needed, improve your overall mobility, strength or coordination.
Treatment options for incontinence include:
- Biofeedback training to help tighten muscles and relax the pelvic floor muscles and if needed, a home unit for home exercises.
- A home exercise program to meet your individual needs after therapy.
- Instruction in strengthening exercises or “Kegels” for the weakened pelvic floor muscles.
- Instruction in correct lifting and moving techniques.
- Instruction in the use of a bladder diary to promote normal voiding habits.
- Education about foods that increase bladder irritation.
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