Do you find yourself rushing to the bathroom at the sound of running water or even when pulling into your driveway? If so, you may be experiencing urge incontinence. In this article, we will explore how the bladder works and why urge incontinence occurs. We will also discuss how pelvic floor physical therapy can help address this issue and improve your quality of life.

How Does the Bladder Work?

To understand urge incontinence, it’s important to know how the bladder functions. When you consume liquid, it goes through the kidneys for filtration, and waste is then sent to the bladder to be eliminated.

Receptors in the bladder walls measure the bladder’s fullness or stretch. When the bladder is full, signals are sent to the brain, indicating that it’s time to urinate. In response, the bladder muscle (detrusor) contracts while the pelvic floor muscles relax, enabling urine to be expelled.

Triggers for Urge Incontinence:

Sometimes, the signal to urinate can occur prematurely, triggered by external factors such as the sound of running water or other stimuli. This can result in a strong and sudden urge to urinate, often leading to urinary leakage.

Understanding the Importance of Treatment

While urinary leakage may be common, it is not considered normal. If you find yourself rushing to the bathroom only to release a small amount of urine, you may wonder, “Was that all for just a few drops?” Research has shown that the amount of urine voided correlates with the time taken to empty the bladder. If you haven’t emptied approximately 8 ounces (equivalent to “8 Mississippi’s” or 8 seconds), it suggests that your bladder may not be adequately full to empty efficiently.

How Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy Can Help:

Pelvic floor physical therapy offers effective strategies to manage urge incontinence. Here’s how it can help:

  1. Assessment of Pelvic Floor Muscles: A pelvic floor physical therapist will evaluate the function of your pelvic floor muscles and their contribution to your symptoms.
  2. Optimizing Pelvic Floor Function: Based on the assessment, a personalized treatment plan will be developed to address your specific needs. This may involve relaxation, strengthening, and coordination training of the pelvic floor muscles.
  3. Bladder Retraining: Pelvic floor physical therapists can guide you through bladder retraining techniques to reduce urgency associated with triggers like running water. They will help you regain control over your bladder and improve your ability to hold urine.
  4. Lifestyle Modifications: Your therapist may suggest lifestyle modifications, including dietary changes and stress management techniques, to support your bladder health and overall well-being.
  5. Referral to Specialists: If necessary, your pelvic floor physical therapist can refer you to other healthcare professionals who specialize in related areas, ensuring you receive comprehensive care.
Brianne Kartes, PT, DPT, LAT, ATC

Urge incontinence can significantly impact your daily life and sense of well-being. However, with the help of a skilled pelvic floor physical therapist, you can regain control over your bladder and minimize the impact of triggers like the sound of running water. Don’t let urge incontinence hold you back from enjoying life to the fullest. Reach out to a pelvic floor physical therapist today to take the first step towards a healthier and more active lifestyle.

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Call 307-686-8177 to schedule an appointment with a pelvic floor physical therapist and learn how to take back control of your bladder today!

Gillette Office

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Gillette, WY 82718

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Sundance, Wyoming 82729

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Newcastle, Wyoming 82701

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