From a presentation by McLeod Physical Therapist Taylor Holmes
Women’s incontinence problems can be treated with medication and surgery. But Therapist Taylor Holmes says you may be successful by starting with simple exercises and physical therapy.
Here are key points from the video:
I’ve been able to help the majority of people that come to see me. People learn Kegels, but didn’t learn them right. They’re doing the right exercises but not using the right muscles. A physical therapist can do an evaluation and show you now to use those muscles correctly.
There’s biofeedback, which uses a vaginal sensor, to see if you’re contracting those muscles correctly. You can watch your results on a screen and when you’re doing it right. It motivates you to do the exercises correctly.
We use bladder training using a bladder log, where you keep track of when you’re going to the bathroom. With the log and exercise we often see a big difference with stress urinary incontinence. It can really help people.
If you don’t want to go the surgical route, you may first want to try physical therapy.
I usually start working with patients one time a week for 8 weeks. It’s safe. You learn a lot about your body. If you feel a cough coming, you can consciously think, “Let me contract those muscles before I cough.” If you’re sitting on the toilet and, as you stand up, you feel the need to urinate again, you can learn to do a contraction before you stand up or before you lift something or if you are exercising.
About 80 percent of the women I see have stress urinary incontinence and I’m able to help them.
If they are not making progress after a while, I’ll suggest that the patient go back to their doctor to explore other options.
You may also find these articles helpful:
Talk to Your Doctor About Incontinence
Incontinence: Stopping It Starts with Your Diary
Kegels!? A Funny Name for a Serious Exercise to Help Urine Leakage
Find a Gynecologist near you.