Is it normal for urine to leak?
“Is it common to experience pain during intercourse?”
“Is it normal that I can pull up to my Garage Door and literally not be able to make it to the Bathroom on time?”
This is the information everyone wants to know. Physical Therapy provides a safe environment for discussing pelvic floor concerns. People are not comfortable talking about leaky bladders in daily life. It’s just too personal.
Urge incontinence (also known as Overactive Bladder) is when someone leaks urine and has a strong “gotta get” feeling in their bladder. It’s a common part of women’s lives. (And it isn’t just for women, they also don’t talk about it!)
All ages can be affected by this problem. There are young ladies who know the location of every toilet in the mall. Patients cannot complete nine holes without having to stop for a potty break. People can see the lightbulb in my eyes when I talk about urge-incontinence. Someone reading this blog might think that’s me. They are not alone!
Overactive bladders are a case of mind over matter
Pelvic floor therapy is a form of physical therapy that helps women control their urges. It focuses on strengthening and controlling the brain/bladder urge signal.
Many patients think I am weak and need to do Kegel Exercises.
Urge incontinence is all about your bladder talking to your brain, and the bladder talking back to you. Retraining the bladder, which basically means retraining your brain, is the most effective method of treatment I have seen. It’s mind over the material, and it can be enjoyable.
This is how urge incontinence works. When the bladder sends an extremely strong and urgent signal to its brain. The brain interprets the message to mean that the bladder can’t hold more urine. It triggers contractions and urine can leak from the pelvic floor muscles. But the bladder may not be fully filled.
“Urgency” can be defined as a “mind/bladder connection that can’t be retrained.”
The art of distraction in pelvic floor physical therapy is used to treat urge incontinence
In pelvic floor therapy, I show patients how mentally to distract the brain from misinterpreting the message. It stops a woman from feeling the urge to use the bathroom. However, she actively distracts her brain by thinking about other things. This technique is not easy at first but it works well for so many people.
As an example, I might start an exercise session with a patient. This could be as simple as having her sit, then quickly tighten and release the pelvic floor muscles several times. This relaxes the bladder and does not allow for urine to be retained. Next, I ask her if she could count backward starting at 100 and ending at fours. It’s great if she does not get the numbers right! The brain will try to relax its grip on the bladder and do the math.
It is not difficult to overcome urgency, after all, say patients. I actually have patients who help me create motivating mantras, such as “My bladder isn’t the boss of me!” or “I’m boss of my bladder!”
Bladder training is a great way to get rid of incontinence
The exercises are not the hardest part of physical therapy. It’s getting patients in to get help. Education is key to pelvic floor therapy. I want to assure my patients that education is an integral part of achieving their goals. We also address issues such as diet, bladder habits, and other areas.
Retraining the bladder is the best thing you can do to fix this problem. This is one of my favorite things that I can help with because it works well for many women.
We are here to help if you are suffering from pelvic-floor disorder. Get in touch with us today to find out more about our services, and the treatment options.