PHYSICAL THERAPY FOR FEMALE INCONTINENCE


If your doctor prescribed physical therapy to rehab your sprained ankle or injured shoulder, you probably wouldn’t think twice about it. But when a physician sends you to physical therapy for urinary incontinence, you may be surprised.

“My patients are always saying, ‘I’ve never heard of this but I wish I’d known about it 20 years ago,’” said Christian McSoud, pelvic floor physical therapist at Urologic Specialists.

The pelvic floor is defined as the muscles that attach to the bony pelvis and are responsible for bowel and bladder control, pelvic organ support and sexual functioning. A pelvic floor physical therapist treats these muscles.

“When urinary leakage is a problem, we often need to help people figure out how to contract and relax these muscles. Then we’re able to retrain the pelvic floor muscles to communicate to the bladder what it should be doing,” said McSoud. “It’s a myth to think that because you’ve had kids or are getting older that leakage is something you have to live with. You can take the muscles and retrain them.”

Physical therapy treatment times vary but in the case of basic urinary incontinence, a patient may see the physical therapist once a week for five-to-six weeks, gaining strength, endurance and coordination for their pelvic floor muscles. Then they’re taught advanced home exercises to do before beginning a maintenance plan.

McSoud warns about trying pelvic floor exercises without proper instruction, “people often hear of the word "kegel" in conjunction with strengthening pelvic floor muscles. However, less than 40% of people (men and women) do these correctly. In addition, having a stronger pelvic floor is not always the answer. Sometimes over "kegeling" or doing the exercise incorrectly can worsen the problem, especially if someone is also experiencing pelvic pain."

McSoud suggests women seek the help of a urologist for urinary incontinence. They may prescribe physical therapy, medication or even surgery in more extreme cases. “As far as I’m concerned, any kind of leakage is too much. There are so many things we can do to make it better, there’s really no reason to suffer in silence.”

The team at the Urologic Specialists Female Pelvic Medicine Center includes three urologists fellowship-trained in female urology, incontinence and pelvic prolapse plus a nurse practitioner, a pelvic floor physical therapist and nurses trained in the field. Make an appointment today by calling Urologic Specialists at 918-749-8765 or contact us online.

©Urologic Specialists - All Rights Reserved