Tuesday , September 17 2019
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You don’t have to live with urinary incontinence

So, you’re cruising on the treadmill when all of a sudden you feel a little loss of urine. You’re instantly embarrassed, try to hold back the trickle, and hope that it’s not enough to make a wet stain on your leggings.

What you may not be thinking in that moment is that urinary incontinence is something 25 million people can relate to, and relatable up to 80 percent of women. Most will fear a recurrence, which becomes a driving force behind strategies used to manage incontinence.

“Stress incontinence happens when we’re working out,” says Maria Borelli, a certified and trained therapist for urinary incontinence working for Melbourne Terrace, a facility that specializes in the active and aging population. “When we cough, laugh or lift a heavy item, that’s called stress incontinence.”

She adds that it’s an embarrassing situation and a topic most people avoid.

“Fewer than half of the patients who have urinary incontinence tell their doctor about the problem. In many cases, patients simply feel that incontinence is part of aging,” as stated by reports online from the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Living with incontinence or an overactive bladder (OAB) causes many people to alter their lives, refrain from intense physical activity and cancel social plans, according to the National Association for Continence.

The impact of OAB has on quality of life is seen with everyday activities. When not being near a bathroom during working, shopping or traveling, lack of bladder control can stymie an outing.

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“You don’t have to live with this condition,” Borelli says. “There’s help for people struggling with incontinence. Therapy can teach patients how to strengthen core muscles that control the bladder.”

Training the core muscles takes technology that is sensitive. Electrodes are placed on the abdominals to help contract muscles that support the uterus, bladder, small intestine and rectum, known as a Kegel exercise.

She adds that their advanced approach uses a combination of electrotherapy and ultrasound that combine to improve neuromuscular function.

“With practice, you’re better able to single out the correct muscles, and then muscles gain power over lack of control,” says Borelli.

She reports that there is a right way and a wrong way of doing the exercises.

“Working with a trained therapist is a good start to gaining control,” she said.

A stronger pelvic floor will decrease bladder leakage, strengthen muscles, improve function, increase postural control, and improve quality of life.

With therapy, patients get cues that can make a real difference.

“We educate on many lifestyle changes like not squatting over a toilet seat,” says Borelli.

Performing a squat means that part of the pelvic floor muscles are not relaxing and too tense to fully empty the bladder.

“Excess urine is irritating to the bladder and you also risk an accidental leak when you cough, laugh or sneeze,” said Borelli. “People need to speak up about their bladder concerns and work with their doctor to figure out what’s causing the condition. Ask if continence treatment can help lessen symptoms.”

Laureen Albrecht specializes in physical therapy and senior wellness and writes for Melbourne Terrace Rehabilitation, 251 Florida Avenue East, Melbourne FL – Call 321-725-3990 for senior therapy info. They offer comprehensive rehabilitative outpatient and inpatient services for short or long term care.