Physiotherapy for Incontinence
What is incontinence?
Urinary incontinence (UI) affects up to 50% of post-menopausal women. UI is leakage of fluid from the bladder involuntarily due to failure of the locking system. An integral part of the locking system is strong and timely activation of the pelvic floor muscles.
Post-menopausal women are at risk because estrogen reduction leads to changes in muscle including the muscles of the pelvic floor = failure of the locking system to function adequately.
Stages of Incontinence
STAGE 1: Symptoms occur only during a major effort, which causes an increase in intra-abdominal pressure, most commonly sneezing, coughing or laughing.
STAGE 2: Symptoms appear during moderate exercise such as running, heavy lifting or sports.
How can physio help?
Most recent reports indicate that specialized pelvic floor physiotherapy attains a positive result in up to 80% of patients with stage 1 and 50% of patients with stage II urinary incontinence. Pelvic floor physiotherapy may consist of pelvic floor muscle training, pelvic floor muscle biofeedback and electrical stimulation.