Incontinence

We Can Help

Making your initial call
is the hardest step to take.

Please understand that you are not alone. As healthcare professionals here at Raquel Perlis Physical Therapy in Wellesley, Massachusetts, we are here to meet your needs. We recommend that you schedule an appointment for an assessment. Our friendly staff will work with you to determine the best treatment plan for your bladder or bowel problem. Your improvement is achieved by actively exercising your pelvic floor muscles. The results will last indefinitely, provided there is no further injury or debilitation. The average duration of treatment is 4 to 6 visits over a 2-month period. Most sessions last 30 minutes. Significant results are usually obtained within 8 weeks.

Urinary & Bowel Incontinence

This is the inability to stop urine and stool leakage. It is a common problem that is shared by many men and women throughout their life cycle. Incontinence can be embarrassing and interferes with living a normal life. Incontinence is treatable. This brochure will explain the different causes and types of incontinence along with physical therapy management.

  • Causes of Incontinence
  • Childbirth
  • Organ prolapse
  • Constipation
  • Prostatectomy
  • Menopause
  • Neurological conditions

Types of Incontinence:

Urge Incontinence

People with urge incontinence lose urine as soon as they feel a strong need to go to the bathroom.

Stress Incontinence

With stress incontinence, people lose urine when they exercise, cough, sneeze or laugh.

Mixed Incontinence

This is a combination of both urge and stress incontinence.

Fecal Incontinence

People have little or no control of their bowel movements.

Physical Therapy Treatment

The pelvic floor muscles act as a sling to keep the pelvic organs lifted. If these muscles weaken, the pelvic organs may drop down, causing incontinence. Pelvic floor exercises, called Kegels, can strengthen these muscles and reduce leakage.

How to Find Pelvic Floor Muscles?

Biofeedback is a simple and painless technique. A small contoured sensor is placed in your vagina or rectum. The sensor reads electrical signals given off when you contract or relax your muscles. These signals are then shown on a computer screen. By helping you locate your pelvic floor muscles, biofeedback can help you learn how to most effectively strengthen them.

Electrical Stimulation uses a similar type of sensor and equipment as is used for biofeedback. During electrical stimulation, tiny painless amounts of electric current are sent through the muscles of your pelvic floor. For people with stress incontinence and very weak or damaged pelvic floor muscles, electrical stimulation can help these muscles contract so they become stronger. For those with urgency, electrical stimulation may help the bladder relax and prevent it from contracting unnecessarily.

Vaginal Weights can be used as a training aid to locate, identify and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles to help restore continence. You insert a weighted plastic cone into the vagina (just as you would insert a tampon). Then you squeeze the pelvic muscles to hold the weight in place. As your muscles strengthen, you will increase the weights inside the cone.

Nutritional and Behavioral Modification

Diet

Dietary changes will help manage your incontinence. Certain foods may irritate your bladder, so it’s best to avoid them. These include caffeinated or carbonated drinks, alcohol, citrus fruits and juices, spicy foods and artificial sweeteners.

Bladder Retraining

Voiding schedules are designed individually, starting with voiding every hour and slowly progressing to 3-4 hour intervals. Among patients who receive this type of treatment, 85% show significant improvement.