Urinary incontinence is the big “U” & “I” word [ pun intended] that people are not ready to talk about. Yet it affects almost 50% of the women in their lifetime! It’s not just elderly women who suffer from it but young women too! Most commonly it occurs during pregnancy, childbirth and menopause but it can also be caused with high intensity workouts. Stress is also one of the causative factors. According to Women’s Health Queensland, 12% of women who have never had children and are aged under 30 have it!
What is Urinary Incontinence?
It is the uncontrollable leakage of urine during certain activities due to the weakening of the walls of the pelvic floor muscles. These muscles are very important during pregnancy and also work in conjunction with the core muscles of the back to protect it. Despite the impact of this condition on women, not many seek help. This leads to chronic long term condition which may result in low self esteem. Elderly women resort o using adult diapers to help with the condition. Although common, urinary incontinence must be taken very seriously. It is important to see a Physiotherapist immediately who can help in strengthening the muscles of the pelvic floor and improving the quality of life.
How to treat it?
Women’s health Physiotherapists are specialized physios who help in treating urinary incontinence. They prescribe exercises such as pilates to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. They do not use any invasive procedures. Many time an ultrasound machine is used to assess the muscle contraction if the muscles are very weak. Most of the women with incontinence may also suffer from back pain. Hence, it becomes very important to get treatment for lower back pain as well to prevent the muscles from getting inhibited.