Pelvic floor disorders in women frequently result in incontinence problems, and an estimated 34 million Americans suffer from urinary incontinence due to a weakened pelvic floor. Fortunately, The underlying issues that contribute to incontinence can be addressed by physical therapists through conditioning and exercise, and the therapies are reportedly so effective that insurers are beginning to cover it for patients.
Kathryn Kassai, PT, CSE, owner of Praxis Physical Therapy in California, states that incontinence is one of the more recent issues to arise regarding women’s health. As such, she explains that female physical therapists are trying to inform the public that physical therapy can provide a natural, noninvasive cure for not only incontinence but prolapse and pelvic pain, frequency, and nocturia.
Shona Woods, RPT, a women’s health physical therapist, states that for stress incontinence, Kegel exercise may be an effective form of treatment. Biofeedback with specific equipment, such as a Pathway Machine, can help a patient to see the pelvic floor muscles and how they react to Kegels or other exercised.
For those with urge incontinence, urge incontinence strategies that teach patients to delay or distract themselves from going to the bathroom each time they feel the bladder signal may help control their bladder. In addition, training with a Pilates reformer machine can make urge suppression techniques more effective and can help reduce stress incontinence .