Incontinence - Truths and Myths

Incontinence is an issue that affects everyone! If it does not affect you personally, than certainly a friend or loved one you know changes their routines or activities due to it. Think you know a thing or two about it? Let's find out.

1) Incontinence is when I leak urine when I laugh or sneeze.

-That is mostly true. First of all, one can be incontinent of urine, gas, feces, or a combination of these. Additionally, leaking when you laugh or cough is called stress incontinence. You can also experience urge (leaking as soon as or soon after you feel the need to go to the bathroom) or overflow incontinence (leaking when you feel like your bladder is completely or overly full).

Google image for "urinary incontinence"

Google image for "urinary incontinence"

2) All women experience incontinence. It's a normal part of aging.

-There is nothing about this statement that is true! Incontinence, no matter what form, is NEVER normal. It's our body's way of letting us know that one of our muscular systems is failing us for some reason. We need to figure out why this is happening and rectify it immediately to keep it from getting worse. Additionally, INCONTINENCE EFFECTS BOTH MEN AND WOMEN. Everyone has a pelvic floor and everyone has the potential for that pelvic floor to give them trouble and lead to symptoms.

3) I've already been to the doctor and had physical therapy although I still have symptoms. Isn't this as good as it's going to get?

-Not necessarily. A lot of the time when you go to physical therapy, you will see a "women's health specialist." They will spend a lot of time looking at and assessing the health and function of your pelvic floor. This may include internal examinations, biofeedback work, strength measurements, etc. However, some of the time, these clinicians can get so caught up in assessing the pelvic floor that they lose site of more global influences on the pelvic floor musculature. At Integrate 360, we have specialized tools and assessment techniques to not only assess the structure and stability of the skeletal foundation that the pelvic floor muscles work off of, but we can also assess what position the pelvic floor starts in.

The pelvic floor has to be able to ascend and descend in the pelvic ring in order to perform all of its' duties. If you're pelvic floor is chronically ascended or descended, your physical therapy will not be able to fully reverse the dysfunction and you may be left with symptoms. This musculature must be restored to a normal resting position before the muscles can achieve proper tone to perform whatever duties are needed at the time.

4) Where can I get the help I need?

-At Integrate 360 Physical Therapy, both Nancy and Lesley are well versed in Postural Restoration assessment and treatment. This is the aspect of your treatment that will assess the position of your pelvic floor and, if necessary, restore it to a "neutral" position and tone through exercise. Lesley has additional training in incontinence, pelvic pain, interstitial cystitis, and other issues of the pelvic floor if you need further therapy beyond restoring your muscles to neutral. She is able to perform internal assessments and techniques or manual therapy.

We try to keep the rehab process as exercise based and hands off as possible so that you are in full control and able to "fix" yourself. However, we will certainly perform whatever manual techniques are necessary for us to restore your health as fully as possible. We try to save internal manual assessments and techniques as a last resort , but we are well versed in this area and, again, are willing to incorporate whatever techniques are needed to move you forward in your journey to laughing (without leaking) again!

5) So, what's your point?

-If you're having symptoms, get help with them as soon as possible in order to have the best odds at completely reversing them. Even if you've been to other facilities, let our unique assessment style find the link that's been missing from your rehab process.