Urinary Incontinence: it IS treatable!
Hi everyone! I’m Victoria and I practice Osteopathy at Southcote. I have a special interest in all things women’s health and general pelvic health in both sexes.
Today’s topic is Bladder leaking.
“Victoria, I didn’t even come to you with this problem...as I thought that no one could help me with this! I thought I’d have to live with this forever and I’m only 33. Thank you for giving me a new lease of life, I am now able to run again without leaking!”
That is a recent comment a patient made, who came in to see me about her back, and left with a whole lot of education to help her with her bladder leaking. She was young, and thought that she had to live in fear of running out of pads when walking or running, and didn’t think for a moment it was treatable! She worked hard and together we stopped the leaking.
It is estimated that between 3 and 6 MILLION people are suffering with urinary incontinence in the UK. That is not a typo...3 to 6 million people! Another not so fun fact: incontinence is one of the risk factors for being taken into care in the elderly! This is extremely under diagnosed! We must have this conversation…
As you can see, bladder leaking is more common that you may think and common DOES NOT mean normal! Let’s take a little look at what is happening when urine leaks involuntarily. The bladder sits right behind your pubic bone (that’s the bone you can feel at the lowest point of your abdomen. The bladder is a muscle, but not like your bicep, it is under involuntary control by the nervous system. We have stretch receptors that sense when the bladder starts to fill and sphincters that act as trap doors that control the urine exiting the body. The sphincter that sits right at the bottom of this system is under your control and is located in your pelvic floor. When you sit for a wee, you relax this sphincter and you say "Ahhh I made it!" When a person experiences urinary leaking, there is a problem somewhere in this system. The causes of this vary, you may be thinking “children” and yes you are right that is one of the causes, but I also treat people who haven’t had children who also experience leaking, this is also NOT normal and IS treatable.
Common signs of Urinary Incontinence:
Leaking when coughing, sneezing laughing or exercising.
Feeling sudden uncontrollable urges to urinate
Waking up many times in the night to wee
Urinating during sleep
How is Urinary Incontinence treated?
We first need to figure out why you are getting these symptoms and track it back to various events or actions in your life that may have lead you here. This could be anything from surgery you’ve had, children, menopause, exercise and certain liquids you may be drinking. Sometimes you may have the urgency to go because you got into the habit many years ago and your body adapted to this and carried on...the human body is very adaptable!
When we have an idea of what your triggers are, we can get to work assessing you to see where we can optimize your system. This may consist of a bladder diary or training.
Then the work starts. We will work together through targeting advice, education, treatment and exercise to get your bladder and pelvic area working better for you.
Get in touch if you have any further questions or would like a chat either in clinic or over the phone.