Daniel Drake Center for Post-Acute Care

151 West Galbraith Road, Cincinnati, OH 45216 | (513) 418-2500

Physical Therapy for Incontinence and Pelvic Pain

Daniel Drake Center for Post-Acute Care physical therapists have specialized training in the treatment of pelvic floor disorders. The approach emphasizes a self-help program of exercise, biofeedback training, patient education in diet, daily habits, pain management techniques, and if needed, muscle stimulation to aide strengthening. These are helpful for incontinence or pelvic pain.

Essential exercises strengthen the muscles that support the pelvic organs and relieve muscle tension and pain. They are simple to do, and play a major role in helping to overcome incontinence and pain. The physical therapy treatment sessions may range from one to a few times per week. This may require as little as 4-6 weeks, but the time period varies with diagnosis and specific patient needs. All treatment sessions are carried out in a private setting in a caring and confidential manner.

Urinary and fecal incontinence

Incontinence refers to the involuntary loss of bladder or bowel control and/or the inability to predict when and where urination and/or bowel movements will occur. This problem is a common disorder experienced by as many as 20 million men and women of all ages. Urinary incontinence is NOT a normal consequence of aging or childbirth. Incontinence can lead to frustration, isolation from normal activities and depression.

Types of incontinence

The most common forms of urinary incontinence are stress and urge incontinence. Stress incontinence is the leaking of urine that occurs accidentally during sneezing, coughing, lifting or vigorous physical activity. Urge incontinence includes the sudden strong urge to void and the inability to reach the bathroom before leakage occurs. Mixed incontinence includes symptoms of both. Stress and urge incontinence can be mild to severe.

Causes of incontinence

Weakness of the pelvic floor muscles, which support the bladder and pelvic organs, is a primary cause of bowel and bladder incontinence. This weakness can be related to damage to the muscles from childbirth, trauma, surgery (including hysterectomy and prostate surgeries), or disuse with aging. Diabetes, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, or stroke can lead to impaired nerve supply, loss of sensation, and weakened pelvic muscles that can also cause incontinence.

Pelvic pain

Pelvic or genital pain can be caused by trauma, post surgical scarring, joint or nerve changes, poor posture and muscle tension/tightness. There may be difficulty with sitting, walking, constipation or pain with urination/defecation, or pain during intercourse.