Urinary & Fecal Incontinence

Continence and Control™ -do you have it??  Many do not, and most consider incontinence a part of aging or associate it with childbirth.  Yes, both age and childbirth can have a bearing on pelvic support and incontinence but it should not be viewed as an expected issue.  Incontinence of any type is not normal, but is quite common.  Often, conservative physical therapy treatment options are overlooked for the treatment of incontinence, but incontinence is something that can be treated, resolved, and even avoided with physical therapy.

(405) 751-9955

Urinary & Fecal Incontinence

What are the causes?

The causes of incontinence can vary and may involve many factors.  The lack of prevention and understanding of proper bladder and bowel care often lead us down a slippery slope that results in incontinence at some point in time.  Common causes that can predispose and cause incontinent issues include:

  • Increased intra-abdominal pressure
  • Strenuous activities or exercise
  • Constipation
  • Forceful coughing
  • Hormone fluctuations
  • Poor pelvic support
  • Prolapses
  • Diet
  • Post-surgical changes
  • Neurological dysfunctions affecting bladder and bowel
  • Pelvic musculature weakness
  • Pelvic musculature spasms/high tone

What are the symptoms?

Incontinence is the involuntary loss of either urine or fecal matter.  This loss of control may occur with undue pressure in the abdominal cavity such as coughing or laughing. Also, it can simply occur when you feel the urge to urinate or have a bowel movement and cannot stop the flow of urine or fecal matter.  These symptoms vary in range and severity. Some people’s incontinent issues may require wearing large absorbent pads, while others may have symptoms minimal enough to avoid any type of absorbent product. Regardless, any loss of urine or stool, is considered incontinence, no matter how small the amount. Sometimes incontinence can occur when there is no sense of urgency nor any type of physical pressure.  Learning the causes, basic treatment principles, and proper bladder and bowel care will help you alleviate and control the symptoms.

  • Stress Urinary Incontinence: pressure on the bladder that results in incontinence
  • Urge Incontinence: the urge to urinate which results in involuntary loss of urine
  • Overflow Incontinence: overflow of urine from the bladder causing incontinence
  • Fecal incontinence: involuntary loss of fecal matter or smearing of fecal matter

What can I expect in PT?

The treatment of incontinence is multidimensional- it is far more than just doing Kegels.  You and your therapist will discuss your medical history, bowel and bladder habits, work environment or hobbies, exercise activities, diet and other factors that may influence incontinence.  Following this portion of the evaluation, your therapist will discuss educational information for bowel and bladder control as well as treatment rationale.  Most often, a pelvic floor examination will be requested.  This allows the therapist to determine pelvic floor muscle strength, your ability to perform a pelvic floor contraction (Kegel) correctly, high or low muscle tone, pelvic organ support, connective tissue restrictions and neural input to the pelvic floor.  The combination of this information allows the therapist to develop a treatment program that is specific to your needs and your issues and most of all, accomplish your goals.

Why should I choose you for physical therapy?

We get it…  It is often uncomfortable to discuss bowel and bladder issues, much less have an exam.  Our therapists are highly trained and very sensitive to making your visit comfortable, yet professional. Our goal is to provide you with the knowledge and skills to understand and manage your issues long-term.

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Urinary & Fecal Incontinence

Call us | (405) 751-9955
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