We take a number of bodily functions for granted until something starts to go awry, and one such function is our ability to hold our bladder until we reach the bathroom. When we start to lose the ability to hold our bladder as intended and some leakage occurs, this is known as incontinence, and it can develop for a number of different reasons. As you might imagine, it can be pretty inconvenient to deal with incontinence issues, but thankfully you have options to help treat it. One such treatment is a course of physical therapy. In today’s blog, we explain how physical therapy can help to treat incontinence issues.
Causes Of Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence can develop for a number of different reasons, some more serious than others. And while urinary incontinence can be caused by prostate problems or a urinary tract obstruction, two of the more common causes that tend to be less serious are pregnancy or as a result of aging. Even if your incontinence isn’t driven by a serious medical issue like prostate cancer, incontinence isn’t something you just want to learn to deal with. That’s where a physical therapist comes in.
While each patient will be treated based on their individual needs and underlying contributing factors, most times the focus is on improving the pelvic floor muscles. These muscles can help you naturally hold your bladder for longer periods, so a pelvic floor routine that involves muscle tension and relaxation and Kegel exercises can be perfect for strengthening the pelvic floor.
One of the best things about a pelvic floor routine is that once you get the hang of it, you can perform the exercises with ease from the comfort of your home. This allows you to continue working on strengthening your pelvic floor muscles between sessions to further your progress. And while every patient is different, many people notice improvements in their bladder control in as little as 4-6 weeks by following a physical therapist-guided pelvic floor routine.
The Role Of Diet And Exercise In Bladder Control
While you can make significant strides with pelvic floor training alone, if you really want to do all that you can to regain a strong grip over your incontinence issues, you’ll also want to consider your diet and exercise regimen. Again, a physical therapist would be more than happy to explain how these aspects factor into your bladder control as well.
Excess weight can put more stress on your pelvic floor and bladder, and over time that can contribute to incontinence or a weakening of bladder control. Your physical therapist can not only set you up with an exercise routine that can help you shed a few pounds, but they can find a routine that will stick. Far too often exercise regimens fail because we can never seem to find the right type of exercise that keeps us engaged and committed to the routine, but a physical therapist can help develop an exercise routine that you won’t dread doing on a regular basis. By helping to develop a routine, not only will it help with weight loss, but it can help to keep you healthy for years to come.
We can also explain the effect that your diet can have on your bladder control. Some foods and drinks like alcohol, coffee, carbonated drinks, chocolate, citrus fruit, spicy or sugary foods and foods with artificial sweeteners can either contribute to a full bladder or they can stimulate the bladder and cause leakage issues. You don’t need to avoid these foods altogether, but a physical therapist can help to explain how these foods and your overall diet may be making your incontinence issues worse. They can then help you develop a diet that helps to prevent incontinence instead of contributing to it.
So if you have noticed that you’ve started to deal with some bladder leakage issues, treat the problem while it’s in its infancy and more easily corrected. To do that, make a call to the team at OrthoRehab Specialists and talk to one of our members who specializes in incontinence-related issues. We’d be more than happy to help you regain bladder control and confidence in your body with a few simple exercises. For more information, give our Minneapolis clinic a call today at (612) 339-2041.