Leaks don’t have to be a big deal! Urinary and bowel incontinence are very common problems and treatment shouldn’t be avoided due to embarrassment.
Our Physical Therapy department offers non-surgical rehabilitation for many pelvic floor conditions, including:
- Stress Incontinence
- Urge Incontinence
- Urinary Frequency
- Interstitial Cystitis
- Chronic Pelvic Pain
- Overactive Bladder
- Fecal Incontinence
- Chronic Constipation
- Rectal Pain
- Pelvic Floor Relaxation
- Frequent Nighttime Urination
BioFeedback Therapy uses computers technology to show you the muscles you are exercising and it allows the therapist to measure your muscle strength and individualize your rehab program. Biofeedback is designed to assist patients in retraining their pelvic floor muscle in order to improve bladder and bowel function and pelvic floor disorders. This feedback is used to teach patients how to strengthen and relax their pelvic floor muscle and gain control over pelvic floor muscle function. Biofeedback is a painless procedure that utilizes sensors and a computer to display muscle activity.
75-80% of our patients will see significant improvement or cure with this therapy alone. As with any treatment, there will be some individuals who will not benefit from this non-surgical therapy.
How does Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation and Biofeedback work?
The pelvic floor consists of muscles that form a sling from the pubic bone to the coccyx (tail bone). These muscles, like all other muscles in our body, like to “sag” and weaken as we age. Since these muscles provide support and bladder control, organs in the abdominal cavity begin to “sag” as well. As the muscles weaken, you may begin to notice some of the symptoms associated with the conditions listed in this article. Kegels do work, but many times, individuals do not do them correctly and they are not prescribed with the muscles’ current abilities in mind.
Urgency, frequency, and urge incontinence are conditions in which the Detrusor muscle, (the involuntary muscle of the bladder), becomes overactive. Muscle strengthening and biofeedback will calm these annoying muscles contractions and symptoms of overactive bladder.
Stress and fecal incontinence usually involve muscle deficits or weakness. The pelvic floor muscles surround the urethra and rectum. When they become weak, they become unable to provide the support needed to keep the urethra closed tightly to compensate for increases in abdominal pressures that can cause leakage while coughing or sneezing. These are also muscles that control gas and bowel contents. By measuring these muscles frequently to prescribe the exact exercise needed – you can soon gain control.
Recent studies have shown that Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation can actually help those individuals suffering from chronic pelvic pain, interstitial cystitis, and rectal pain. While the entire mechanism of action is not understood yet, Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation is offering new hope to individuals plagued by these elusive and often debilitating disorders.
Individualized Plan of Care
Based on information obtained from your health history and pelvic floor muscle measurements, a plan of care is developed specifically for you. This may include the following:
- Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation: Detailed evaluation is used to determine that the correct muscle is being contracted, and when the muscle begins to fatigue. Using this information, a prescribed exercise plan is developed with specific muscle strengthening instruction much like a personal trainer in a gym.
- Pelvic Floor Biofeedback: Uses computer graphs and audible tones to show you the muscles you are exercising. It also allows the therapist to measure your muscle strength and individualize your exercise program. It does not do anything to your muscles. It is a teaching tool to help you learn to control and strengthen the pelvic floor area.
- Bladder Retraining: Once strength is improved, the bladder can be “retrained” to hold a larger volume of urine so bathroom stops are not so frequent.
- Dietary Changes: Occasionally, some people can alleviate their symptoms with simple dietary modifications.
Patients Find Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation Favorable Because:
- The treatment is non-invasive and painless
- It has up to 80% success rate
- It has no significant side effects
- It is affordable, compared to other alternatives
- It is covered by most insurance plans
Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation may be Appropriate for you if:
- You have a strong desire to take control of your problem
- You are willing and able to actively participate in your recovery
In order to receive the maximum benefit, you must be comfortable with the treatment and be willing to comply with the therapy plan prescribed for you.
For more information, questions, or to schedule an evaluation, please call the Phillips County Health Systems Rehabilitation Department at 785-540-4949.