April is Urinary Incontinence Awareness Month
Urinary incontinence (UI) is perhaps more common than most people realize. The Canadian Continence Foundation reports that 3.3 million Canadians (about 10% of the population) experience some form of urinary incontinence. Symptoms are more common in women, affecting as many as 33% over the age of 40. Unfortunately, most women are reluctant to talk about the symptoms of UI even though it can seriously affect their lifestyle and self-confidence.
Pelvic floor rehabilitation is key to effective conservative management of UI. Improving the strength, endurance and coordination of the pelvic floor muscles can reduce the frequency and amount of urine leakage. Even though Kegel’s exercises are frequently prescribed, 40-50% of women are unable to correctly perform a contraction of the pelvic floor muscles when given verbal or written instruction alone. Physiotherapists with training in the management of pelvic floor dysfunction are able to assess and teach targeted pelvic floor muscle function. In addition to exercise, techniques such as biofeedback or electrical stimulation may be used to improve muscle awareness and strength, plus education about lifestyle and behaviors to reduce incontinence.
The pelvic floor muscles do not work in isolation. Successful rehabilitation incorporates training the pelvic floor muscles to work in coordination with the core abdominal muscles and breathing. At Lacombe Physiotherapy Clinic we put a strong emphasis on integrating the pelvic floor as a powerful stabilizer for posture and function.
Call to book an appointment with our specialist in Women's Health!
Karen Leung, BScPT, MClScPT, Physiotherapist