Although urinary incontinence is still a taboo topic, it is a common problem for many women and can affect quality of life by limiting the patient’s ability to carry out daily activities. This condition happens most commonly after childbirth, during menopause, with aging, as well as with constipation or chronic coughing. Urinary incontinence can also be associated with organ prolapse of the pelvic floor, various chronic diseases and certain medications.
TYPES OF URINARY INCONTINENCE
Constant leaking of urine
Often associated with an absence of urgency
A fairly large residual volume remains after emptying the bladder
Often associated with a more serious medical problem
Urine loss due to cognitive, psychological or environmental dysfunction or physical disability that prevents the individual from reaching the bathroom in time
Inability to “hold it in” and sudden loss of a large volume of urine before reaching the bathroom
These people may go to the bathroom frequently “just in case”
Involuntary leakage of small amounts of urine
Occurs as a result of intra-abdominal pressure (e.g., lifting a load, coughing, sneezing) or an impact (e.g., jumping, jogging)
A combination of two types: urge incontinence and stress incontinence
How can a physiotherapist help?
Physiotherapy is the preferred treatment choice for cases of urge, stress or mixed incontinence¹²³. Over the years, study after study has shown that physiotherapy is safe and effective.¹³.
Continence depends largely on support mechanisms, more specifically, the pelvic floor, the endopelvic fascia, the integrity of ligaments and bones, and the pelvis, which includes the pelvic organs (bladder, uterus and rectum). All of these structures are considered during the initial assessment, which includes a questionnaire and an objective internal exam.
At Kinatex, sessions with our physiotherapists specially trained in perineal rehabilitation, are designed to normalize the urinary system and strengthen the pelvic floor. Studies¹¯³ show that exercises targeting the pelvic floor muscles, which play a role in maintaining urinary continence, improve the condition of patients.
¹ Karantanis E and al., Women’s treatment preferences for stress urinary incontinence – physiotherapy or surgery, Aurtalia & New Zealand Continence Journal, 2014; 20 (2): 34-36, 38-40, 42.
² Morrow L. and al., Management or urinary incontinence in primary care: A national clinic guideline, Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network, Decembre 2014: 1-79.
³ Neumann PB, Grimmer KA, Grant RE, Gill VA, The costs and benefits of physiotherapy as first-line treatment for female stress urinary incontinence, Australia & New Zealand Continence Journal, 2005; 29:416-21.