Urinary Incontinence is a condition that many people struggle with daily. It is a condition that involves the inability to hold urine inside the bladder and therefore is often associated with feelings of discomfort, embarrassment, and humiliation. In addition to feeling uncomfortable, urinary incontinence can cause strain in other body parts, such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones in the pelvic area. This article discusses 4 treatment options for urinary incontinence.
Bladder training is also referred to as Kegel exercises or simply Kegels. These are simple exercises you perform at home to strengthen the muscle in your pelvis (pubococcygeus) that helps control urine flow. You may want to have someone help you do these exercises before you begin doing them yourself. The main goal of this type of exercise is to improve muscle strength by strengthening the tiny muscle group called the pubococcygeus muscle, which sits between your anus and vagina. This muscle is responsible for controlling how well your bladder empties and when it is full. Weakness in this muscle can make the bladder spasm up, preventing proper drainage thus causing difficulty holding onto urine. Make sure you do bladder training exercises regularly on your own. Daily practice will help you see results.
Another option for treating stress urinary incontinence is catheter placement. A Foley catheter, an inflatable balloon-like device placed into the urethra, is used to keep it open during urination. Once again, your doctor would discuss all of the pros and cons of this procedure when determining what might be best for you. This isn’t for everyone, though, since this procedure risks infection and injury. You will want to take some time to decide if this procedure is the right fit for you.
Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy
Pelvic floor physical therapy is a rehabilitating physical therapy treatment designed to restore normal function to affected areas. After assessing the patient’s needs, the therapist will determine if they need the use of one or more devices such as electrodes or taping materials. The goals in physical therapy are to restore normal activity, reduce pain, increase range of motion, decrease pressure caused by swelling, develop coordination and reflexes, and help prevent future issues. Talk with your general care physician to get in contact with a physical therapist near you. They will help you find ones that are within your network. Make sure you stick with regular visits so you can feel the results.
Behavioral therapy is a form of psychotherapy that treats patients through counseling by teaching them to change bad habits like smoking or drinking alcohol excessively. Behavioral therapy includes hypnotherapy, biofeedback, relaxation therapy, operant conditioning, and cognitive restructuring. Behavioral techniques teach people to relax their muscles and learn ways to cope better with negative situations. If your urinary incontinence is caused by stress or other mental factors, then you may find this type of therapy beneficial. Make sure you visit a doctor first to determine if the root cause for your urinary incontinence is related to your mental health rather than an underlying health concern.
The treatments mentioned above could potentially help with urinary incontinence. When deciding on a treatment plan, your healthcare provider will consider your medical history and current health conditions. They will work closely with you to ensure the best outcomes for you. You may need to try a couple of the above treatment plans to find what works best for you. Stick with it and be patient as you would with any other type of treatment plan.