ReboundPT_Physical Therapy & Women's Health

N E W S L E T T E R

BEHAVIORAL TREATMENT Some people with urinary incontinence may get relief by making simple lifestyle changes. If you have stress incontinence, for instance, in which you leak urine when you cough, sneeze, or laugh, your physical therapist may tell you to limit how much you drink. If you have urge incontinence, in which you get the sudden urge to urinate and can’t always make it to the bathroom in time, your physical therapist may tell you to avoid spicy foods, caffeine, and carbonated drinks, because they can irritate the bladder and make the problem worse. Exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, known as Kegels, can sometimes help people with stress incontinence. Kegels can also help people with urge incontinence. Sometimes, Kegels are combined with biofeedback techniques to help you know if you are doing the exercises properly. For urge incontinence, bladder training, sometimes called bladder retraining, can also help. This involves gradually increasing the interval time between trips to the bathroom, working up to longer and longer intervals between bathroom stops. DEVICES AND ABSORBENT PRODUCTS Protective pads and panty liners can help avoid embarrassing situations. A pessary, a plastic device inserted into the vagina, may help prevent urine leakage by supporting the neck of the bladder; it is most useful for stress incontinence. INSIDE: • How a Physical Therapist Can Treat Pelvic Pain • Patient Success Spotlight • Exercise Essentials: Pelvic Strengthening • Featured Service: Women's Health Program • Free Women's Health Workshop: Safe Exercise During Pregnancy

PHYSICAL THERAPY & WOMEN'S HEALTH

Mild to moderate cases of common types of incontinence can be cured or greatly improved by behavioral or exercise therapy. We can also teach you habits and techniques to reduce urgency and urge incontinence (or leaking with a strong urge on the way to the bathroom). Even periodic incontinence is not something you have to deal with. We can help! INCONTINENCE, CHRONIC PELVIC PAIN, & PHYSICAL THERAPY A physical therapist is highly skilled in evaluating and treating various musculoskeletal and neurological conditions affecting the body. This profession focuses on assessing any underlying factors, such as strength, neuromuscular control, balance, coordination, skeletal alignment, and endurance, which may be contributing to impaired functional mobility, activity participation, and quality of life. Of course, most people only seek physical therapy when they’re suffering from a common injury or condition such as whiplash, tendonitis, low back pain, ligament sprains, and plantar fasciitis. Perhaps lesser known is that chronic pelvic pain and dysfunction, including incontinence, can also respond positively to physical therapy intervention. CAUSES OF INCONTINENCE AND CHRONIC PELVIC PAIN If you have pain in your pelvis, it may not always be fully clear what’s causing it. Some common causes of

pelvicfloordysfunctionandchronicpelvicpain include, but are not limited to: • Pregnancy • Sacroiliac joint dysfunction • Coccydynia • Irritationof thepudendalnerve (whichoriginatesnear the bottom of your spine) • Irritable bowel syndrome • Levator ani syndrome (increased tension in pelvic floor muscles) • Post-surgical complications (e.g., pain following a hysterectomy, hernia repair, cesarean section, and/ or prostatectomy) Any of these conditions may lead to inadequate supportof theorganscontainedwithyourpelviccavity, increasedpressureor inflammationofnerves,muscles, and other connective tissues (including your bladder), and impaired pelvic bone alignment.These symptoms canbe frustrating,painful,andembarrassing,andmay limit your tolerance to daily participation in desired activities, including exercise. Other symptoms frequently appear with pelvic pain, including incontinence, bloating, abdominal pressure, reluctance tostrainwhiledefecating,andpain in the low back,buttocks,andhips.Youmayalsohavedecreased tolerance to a variety of activities including sitting or standing, walking, exercise, and sexual intercourse.

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