Use of certain substances such as caffeine, alcohol
Use of certain medications, such as cholinergic agents or alpha-agonists
Any loss of bladder control can be considered incontinence. Call your doctor if you have a loss of urine control. The doctor can help you determine the underlying cause.
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. You will be asked how often you empty your bladder and patterns of urine leakage. The doctor will do a physical exam to look for any physical causes such as blockages or nerve problems. You may be referred to a specialist. Bodily fluids will be tested. This can be done with:
The flow of urine will be assessed. This can be done with:
Bodily structures may need to be viewed. This can be done with:
Treatments are based on the cause of the urinary incontinence. Physical therapy may be referred as part of a treatment program. Physical therapy programs are designed to correct functional disorders, improve muscle function and strength, relieve pain, promote healing and recovery, and when necessary, help patients adapt to permanent disabilities. Services offered by physical therapists to reduce urinary incontinence may include:
Myofascial release (internal & external)
Trigger point release (internal & external)
Heat and ice
Therapeutic exercise for the pelvic floor musculature
Biofeedback (internal & external)
Electrical stimulation (internal & external)
Bladder and bowel retraining and patterning
Fluid and food intake management
Incontinence is a symptom of many other conditions. There are several ways to prevent incontinence:
If advised by your doctor, do exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, such as Kegel exercises. This is especially important if you are pregnant.
Reduce your intake of substances that lead to incontinence such as caffeine, alcohol, and certain drugs.
Lose weight, if needed.
Eat a healthy diet to avoid constipation.
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