Incontinence Reduced with Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy
Many patients of all ages would rather suffer in silence than discuss incontinence issues with their primary care physicians. But Sarah Randolph-Kaminski, PT, DHSc, coordinator of pelvic health services at Franciscan Health, urges physicians to ask anyway since 80 percent of incontinence problems are due to a lack of muscle support which can be corrected with pelvic floor physical therapy.
If you have had bladder control issues for at least three months, consider seeking treatment.
"Pelvic floor therapy is NOT just doing Kegels," said Randolph-Kaminski. “While pelvic floor strengthening exercises may play a role in improving incontinence, when they are performed incorrectly or in the presence of pelvic pain, patients may notice no improvement or actually a worsening of symptoms. That's why it is imperative to be evaluated and trained by a physical therapist who specializes in treating pelvic floor disorders.”
Contrary to popular belief, pelvic floor therapy isn’t just for older or postmenopausal women. Primary care physicians should consider screening high school and/or college female athletes for urinary incontinence as well as younger women throughout their childbearing years.
"The good news is there are many treatment options," said Brent Suozzi, MD, urogynecologist with Indiana Urogynecology, an independent physician who chooses to practice with Franciscan Health. "Most patients do well with non-surgical options."
Pelvic floor therapists most commonly treat stress incontinence and overactive bladder, but other diagnoses include:
- Bowel incontinence
- Constipation and outlet dysfunction
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Chronic abdominal pain
Most referrals come from urologists, urogynecologists, and colon and rectal specialists, but the staff is committed to increasing the number of primary care physicians who refer patients. Sessions typically last 45 to 60 minutes, and insurance coverage is verified before treatment is initiated.
"After four to six sessions, patients should expect to see a 50 percent reduction in leakage," said Randolph-Kaminski.
Learn more about pelvic health rehabilitation at Franciscan Health or talk with your physician.