Urinary Incontinence? Here’s How Physical Therapy Can Help

Print icon

Urinary incontinence affects 25 million people in the United States, including 1 out of 3 women. Urinary incontinence is described as the involuntary loss of urine and can range from mild leaking to uncontrollable wetting. There are three types of urinary incontinence:

  • Stress Incontinence: Leakage with coughing, sneezing and physical exertion.
  • Urge Incontinence: Leakage associated with a strong desire to urinate.
  • Mixed Incontinence: a combination of both stress and urge incontinence.

Female urinary incontinence is common in all age groups, from teenagers to senior citizens. Thirty-six percent of women over 45 years old suffer from incontinence. Unfortunately, most women are too embarrassed to admit they suffer from this condition and 85 of these people will not report the problem to their physician unless the doctor brings up the subject. On average, people live with symptoms 6-9 years before seeking care.

Many factors can contribute to urinary incontinence in women: More than two pregnancies or having a baby over 8 pounds, menopause/aging and loss of estrogen and a general loss of skeletal muscle strength, chronic constipation or chronic cough, being overweight. All of these factors can weaken the connective tissue of the pelvic sling, predisposing you to incontinence.

Here’s an example of a pelvic exercise for urinary incontinence:

The good news is that in most cases, urinary incontinence is reversible with a variety of treatment approaches. The first line of treatment should be conservative such as pelvic floor physical therapy. A physical therapist specifically trained in pelvic floor diagnoses and treatment will create an individualized exercise program and may also use biofeedback, diet/fluid intake advice or vaginal electrical stimulation to treat the disorder. The Tallwood Urology and Kidney Institute can refer you to a trained physical therapist and help you on the road to a “dry” and happy future.

Hartford Healthcare Rehabilitation Network, a non-for-profit member of Hartford HealthCare offers physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech language pathology, sports medicine and health & wellness programs.  Please call 860.696-2500 or click here for more information.

 


What's New

Events for Seniors

A Healthier Life for Seniors: Upcoming Events in March

March 2-31: Five-part Healthy Brain Series Examines Optimum Aging WATERBURY – Strategies and information on maintaining a healthy brain is the focus of a free five-part series presented by Hartford HealthCare Center for Healthy Aging and Western Connecticut Area Agency on Aging. The Healthy Brain Series will be held Tuesdays,...

Ann Olson

Olson Named VP of Hospice by Hartford HealthCare at Home

Hartford HealthCare at Home, in supporting its patient centered goals to enhance and expand its hospice services, has selected its new vice president of hospice. “I am pleased to announce that Ann M. Olson has joined us as vice president of Hospice for Hartford HealthCare at Home across the state,”...

2020 Census

Why the Census Is a Healthcare Issue

By Jeffrey A. Flaks Hartford HealthCare President and Chief Executive Officer and Sarah S. Lewis Hartford HealthCare Vice President, Health Equity Among the New Year’s resolutions that you’ve made (or maybe already broken), here’s one that should be easy to keep: Complete your U.S. Census form, and encourage everyone you...

Independence at Home

Hartford HealthCare Homecare Agency Receives 2020 Best-Of Award

Hartford HealthCare Independence at Home has been awarded the Best of Home Care, Employer of Choice 2020 Award by Home Care Pulse. Only 15 of the 660 licensed private-duty agencies in Connecticut have received this award for 2020. This places Independence at Home in the top 2 percent of Connecticut...


Monthly ‘Coffee Talk’ for Veterans Feb. 6 in Litchfield

Veterans from all branches of service are welcome to join a free “coffee talk” on Thursday, Feb. 6, and the first Thursday of every month at 10:30 a.m. at Brandywine Living at Litchfield, 19 Constitution Way. Sherri Vogt, Hartford HealthCare’s veterans liaison, leads the group. Topics of discussion may include presumptive...