Incontinence is the loss of control over one’s bladder or bowel movements, resulting in the unintentional release of urine or faeces. It can be caused by a variety of conditions, including neurological disorders, spinal cord injuries, and urinary tract infections. Incontinence can also be a side effect of certain medications or a symptom of pregnancy or menopause. Treatment options include lifestyle changes, pelvic floor muscle exercises, medications, and surgery.
Causes of Incontinence
There are many possible causes of incontinence, which can be broadly categorised as either functional or organic.
Functional incontinence is caused by physical or cognitive impairments that make it difficult for a person to reach the toilet in time or to perform the necessary actions to void their bladder or bowel. This can occur in older adults, people with mobility impairments, or those with dementia.
Organic incontinence is caused by an underlying medical condition or structural problem. Some of the most common causes of organic incontinence include:
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Bladder or prostate cancer
- Enlarged prostate (BPH)
- Neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and spinal cord injuries
- Bladder or pelvic surgery
- Hormonal changes such as menopause
- Certain medications
It is important to note that incontinence may also be caused by a combination of both functional and organic factors.
How can physiotherapy help?
Physiotherapy can help with incontinence by addressing the underlying muscle weakness or dysfunction that is causing the problem. A physiotherapist can work with you to develop an exercise program tailored to your specific needs.
Pelvic floor muscle exercises, also known as Kegel exercises, are often recommended for people with incontinence. These exercises involve contracting and relaxing the muscles that support the bladder and rectum. A physiotherapist can teach you how to correctly perform these exercises and monitor your progress.
Other exercises that can help with incontinence include:
- Abdominal strengthening exercises- these can help support the pelvic organs and improve bladder control.
- Bladder retraining – this involves scheduling trips to the bathroom at set intervals throughout the day, even if you don’t feel the need to go. This can help retrain the bladder and improve control over urination.
- Biofeedback – this uses electronic sensors to measure muscle activity and provide real-time feedback on your pelvic floor muscle contractions.
At Home Physio Group we have specialist physiotherapists equipped with skills to help those with incontinence. Our Physiotherapists can assess your problem, diagnose, and establish its severity. From their assessment, our physiotherapists will be able to determine an appropriate treatment plan with attainable goals.
For more information please contact us on 0330 335 1016 or alternatively please fill out our contact sheet and we will get back to you.