Can we blather about the bladder?
Look, here's what's normal:
- going 6-8 times in 24 hours
- an easy flow of urine that involves no discomfort
- being able to control the urge to urinate
Urinary incontinence then is any episode of involuntary loss of urine.
There are several different types of urinary incontinence:
- Stress incontinence (sudden, accidental leakage because of coughing or sneezing or laughing or perhaps even as a result of performing certain activities or exercises)
- Urge incontinence (this is accidental leakage that occurs because of a strong, uncontrollable urge - like at nighttime, for instance, it just comes on and you can't stop it)
- Mixed incontinence (this would be a combination of stress and urge incontinence)
- Overflow incontinence (this results from the leaking of urine because the bladder has retained urine even after you have 'gone' and this generally is related to some kind of obstruction at the outlet of the bladder or an enlarged bladder or low pelvic floor muscle tone)
And who is incontinent?
Well, it happens to both women and men, but each type of incontinence may effect specific populations. For instance, stress incontinence is the most common type of urine leakage in women aged 30-50 (1/3 of women in 30's report leakage with exercise... 15% of women under 65have severe stress incontinence).
So if you recognize yourself in these symptoms, know you are not alone. And know you can be empowered to do something about it.
What Causes Incontinence?
The causes may be several or various:
- weakness in the pelvic floor
- trauma (from a catheter, childbirth, surgery)
- recurrent urinary tract infections
- low estrogen states leading to atrophy
- constipation and/or chronic cough
- being overweight
- spinal problems/nerve damage
- organ prolapse
And what can be done about it?
There are drug-free solutions to this! Specially trained physical therapists (pelvic floor physical therapists) can provide a comprehensive treatment plan that includes:
- Posture/position modifications which includes training:
- strength/power of the pelvic floor muscles
- Instruction re: toileting techniques
- Instruction re: adequate water intake
- Information re: eliminating dietary irritants
- Breathing pattern re-training (in conjunction with our specially trained Yoga colleagues)
- Relaxation strategies (offered, again, in conjunction with our Yoga colleagues)
Take an active role in your health
Rather than withdraw from an active lifestyle or get pulled into or remain depressed about your current condition, know that you can make a difference!
Call 212-499-0848 and ask to speak to one of H&D's Pelvic Health Specialists and go, go, go back to an active, vivacious life.