Your doctor will discuss various medical interventions appropriate to your condition that may include medication, surgery, or uroplasty.
Should she prescribe physical therapy for UI, your initial PT evaluation visit will include a thorough history followed by an orthopedic and pelvic examination that determines pelvic floor strength and coordination.
In treating urinary incontinence, physical therapy interventions are directed toward the pelvic floor muscles first. Appropriate use of the pelvic muscles is required to reduce leakage regardless of the cause.
Therefore, your subsequent physical therapy treatments will likely include some combination of the following:
- Instruction in urgency control techniques. There are simple, effective methods for getting those sudden, strong urges under control (often without surgery)!
- Training of pelvic floor muscles (those muscles that surround the urethral/vaginal openings). This may include manual training, biofeedback, vaginal weights, and modalities to increase coordination and strength.
- Instruction in bladder health, dietary considerations, and lifestyle modifications to reduce urinary frequency. It is impossible to treat a condition by only addressing the muscles – dietary influences and years of habitual training may need to be addressed for full success in bladder retraining.
- Training in body mechanics to reduce strain on the pelvic muscles and organs. Increased strain on the pelvic organs and pelvic muscles due to inappropriate body positioning or movements may reduce the body’s ability to maintain continence and increase prolapse.
- Instruction in techniques to reduce nighttime frequency, urgency and leakage. Decreased leakage at night is often one of the first areas of improvement noted with conservative measures.