Urinary Incontinence and PT

Urinary incontinence is the leakage of urine at inappropriate times. With incontinence, you may have trouble starting the urine stream or holding urine when you feel a strong urge to go.

There are different types of incontinence:

  • Stress incontinence – small amounts of urine leak when there is increased pressure on the bladder. 

  • Urge incontinence – your bladder muscle goes into spasm, and, if the spasm is severe enough, medium
to large amounts of urine may leak; this might happen only occasionally or as often as every 15 to 20 minutes. 

  • Mixed incontinence – you have both stress and urge incontinence. 

  • Functional incontinence – urine leaks when you can’t get to the bathroom in time. 


Your physical therapist will perform an examination to identify the causes of your urinary incontinence and determine whether you should be referred to a physician for additional tests. Based on the evaluation results, your physical therapist will create individualize treatments to strengthen your pelvic-floor muscles and improve their function. Your physical therapist can help you:

  • Gain control over your symptoms. 

  • Reduce the need for pads and special undergarments, 
incontinence medications, and possibly surgery.

Additionally, your physical therapist can provide information about: 

  • Diet and nutrition to avoid food and drinks that may irritate the bladder.
  • Changing behaviors that make symptoms worse.
  • Ways to decrease urinary urge and frequency.

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