Bladder and bowel incontinence
Leaking urine and/ or stool can be a very embarrassing and socially restricting problem. It is not something that should just be ‘put up with’ as there are several physiotherapy treatments that can help.
Bladder and bowel incontinence can happen as a consequence of pregnancy, childbirth, pelvic surgery (a hysterectomy or removal of the prostate), the menopause, constipation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, a neurological condition i.e. multiple sclerosis. Leakage of urine and/or stool is not the only symptom that can be experienced. Urgency of urine and/or stool is the need to rush to the toilet. A heavy/ dragging feeling in the vagina and/ or rectum may indicate a prolapse of the bladder, womb or bowel. A prolapse may also cause difficulty with emptying of the bladder and bowel. All of these problems can be helped by physiotherapy.
The first physiotherapy appointment will involve our specialist physiotherapist, Gemma Barnes, asking you several questions about your problem to provide a diagnosis and to decide the best form of management for you. A physical examination is also recommended to confirm a diagnosis and assess how well the pelvic floor muscles are working.
Pelvic floor muscle exercises are a key part of treatment to improve the bladder and bowel problems mentioned. Other treatments that can be included are: fluid and dietary advice, bladder and bowel retraining, bladder and bowel emptying techniques, core stability and general exercises, electrotherapy, EMG biofeedback.