Posted on: 2 January 2019Share
Pelvic floor physiotherapy can help with a number of conditions, but one of the more common complaints the therapy treats is urinary incontinence. Incontinence can be caused by pelvic floor muscles that are too tight, too weak, or a combination of both. Here's an overview of how this therapy might help you if you struggle with incontinence.
A Therapist Performs An Examination
The first step is to assess your pelvic floor muscles. This includes taking a history of your symptoms and performing a visual and manual inspection. During this process, the therapist can pinpoint areas where muscles and tissues are too tight and find muscles that are too weak. Knowing this is important so the therapist can develop the right treatment plan. An examination is similar to having a pelvic exam for a pap smear, except no tools are used. Instead, the therapist relies on touch to determine muscle tone.
You're Taught To Isolate Specific Muscles
If you've tried doing exercises at home to improve your incontinence and have not had good results, then seeking help from a physiotherapist, like those at Proactive Pelvic Health Centre, could be what you need so you learn the right exercises to do as well as the proper technique. A physiotherapy session involves learning how your pelvic floor muscles work to control urination. With this knowledge and with practice, you'll learn which muscles to isolate for effective exercises.
Just like any other form of physical therapy exercises, the exercises have to be done properly or they can do more harm than good. Once your therapist knows you can do the exercises properly, you're encouraged to do them at home on a set schedule to strengthen weak muscles so you have better control of your bladder. Once your muscles have gained strength, you should notice less bladder leaking and more control over incontinence.
Other Forms Of Treatment May Be Used
Depending on the reason for your incontinence, the therapist may use other treatments besides exercises, especially if the problem is muscle tightness or tension. Your entire pelvic and hip region is assessed, including things like hip alignment and your gait. The therapist might provide massage therapy to loosen tight muscles and improve blood circulation to your pelvic region. You might be taught stretching exercises or exercises that improve your posture. The therapist might also offer advice on lifestyle changes that can help with incontinence, such as urinary habits and losing weight.
Although incontinence is often viewed as a side effect of multiple pregnancies or age, it isn't always inevitable if you keep the muscles in your pelvic floor in good shape. Depending on the cause of your incontinence, pelvic floor physiotherapy could be the solution that helps you regain bladder control.