Urinary incontinence is a common issue that affects millions of people, yet it often goes untreated due to embarrassment or lack of awareness. At Hollyburn Physiotherapy Clinic, we aim to educate our community about urinary incontinence, its signs, and how physiotherapy can offer very effective solutions. 

What is Urinary Incontinence?
Urinary incontinence is the involuntary loss of bladder control, leading to accidental urine leakage. This condition can range from occasional leaks when sneezing or coughing to an urgent need to urinate that is so sudden and strong you don't get to a toilet in time. There are several types of urinary incontinence:

  • Stress Incontinence: Leakage occurs during activities that increase abdominal pressure, such as coughing, sneezing, laughing, or exercising.
  • Urge Incontinence: A sudden, intense urge to urinate followed by involuntary leakage. Often associated with overactive bladder syndrome.
  • Mixed Incontinence: A combination of stress and urge incontinence.
  • Overflow Incontinence: Inability to empty the bladder completely, leading to overflow and leakage.
  • Functional Incontinence: Physical or cognitive impairments that prevent one from reaching the toilet in time.

What to Watch Out For
Recognizing the signs and symptoms of urinary incontinence is the first step towards seeking help. Here are some common indicators:

  • Frequent Urination: Needing to urinate more than usual.
  • Urgency: A sudden, strong urge to urinate that is difficult to control.
  • Leakage: Involuntary urine leakage during physical activities, coughing, or sneezing or not making it to the toilet intime.
  • Incomplete Emptying: Feeling that the bladder is not fully empty even after urinating.
  • Urinary Tract Infections: Frequent UTIs may be associated with urinary incontinence.

How Physiotherapy Can Help
Physiotherapy offers a conservative and effective approach to managing and improving urinary incontinence. In fact, world-wide guidelines put pelvic health physiotherapy as a first line treatment for many types of incontinence and cure-rates for certain types of urinary incontinence, just through physiotherapy, can be higher than 70%!

Here’s what we can do to help:

  1. 1. Comprehensive Assessment

    A thorough assessment by a physiotherapist specializing in pelvic health will help identify the type and cause of urinary incontinence. This includes evaluating pelvic floor strength and coordination, bladder, bowel and fluid intake habits, breathing, posture and abdominal/pelvic muscle control and strength and any contributing factors.

  2. Pelvic Floor Muscle Training

    Pelvic floor muscle exercises are essential for optimizing the muscles that support the bladder and urethra. A physiotherapist will guide you on how to correctly perform these exercises to maximize their effectiveness. It is not just the act of turning on these muscles, but also the coordination of the muscles, the ability to relax them, as well as how powerful they are that make the difference. Research has shown time and time again it is essential that a trained pelvic floor therapist assesses your ability to perform these exercises for them to be effective.

  3. Bladder Training

    Bladder training involves techniques to increase the time between urination and improve bladder capacity. This helps reduce the frequency and urgency of urination.

  4. Biofeedback

    Biofeedback uses sensors to provide visual or auditory feedback on pelvic floor muscle activity. This helps patients learn how to properly engage and strengthen these muscles.

  5. Electrical Stimulation

    Electrical stimulation can be used to strengthen pelvic floor muscles and improve bladder control. This is particularly useful for those who have difficulty with “finding” their muscles, as well as for those with urgency.

  6. Lifestyle and Behavioral Modifications

    Physiotherapists provide advice on lifestyle changes that can help manage incontinence. This includes dietary adjustments, fluid management, and strategies to maintain a healthy weight.

Benefits of Physiotherapy for Urinary Incontinence

  • Improved Bladder Control: Enhanced strength and coordination of pelvic floor muscles help reduce leakage.
  • Reduced Urgency and Frequency: Techniques such as bladder training can help manage the need to urinate frequently.
  • Enhanced Quality of Life: Better bladder control allows for more confidence and participation in daily activities.
  • Non-Invasive Treatment: Physiotherapy provides a safe, non-surgical option for managing urinary incontinence.
  • Personalized Care: Treatment plans are tailored to individual needs, ensuring the most effective approach. 

So, what next?
Urinary incontinence is a manageable condition, which in many cases, can be resolved and seeking help can significantly improve your quality of life. Physiotherapy offers effective, non-invasive treatments to help you regain control over your bladder and reduce the impact of incontinence on your daily activities.

At Hollyburn Physiotherapy Clinic we are proud to provide pelvic health physiotherapy and are committed to helping you achieve better bladder control and overall well-being. If you are experiencing urinary incontinence, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Schedule an appointment today and take the first step towards a confident, incontinence-free life.

Francesca Ruddick

Francesca Ruddick

Contact Me