There are two types of physical therapy for incontinence that Dr. J. Kyle Mathews may recommend.
We all know that physical therapy can be used to train and condition muscles, but did you know that there are muscles that can be trained and treated to help alleviate your incontinence symptoms?
Your pelvic floor muscles (also known as PFM) are a group of muscles that play an important part in incontinence. They not only hold your bladder and your urethra in place, but they also are the muscles that contract and relax when you urinate.
Physical therapy for incontinence employs different types of pelvic floor training to help women identify, strengthen and control these muscles.
Pelvic Floor Muscle Therapy Strengthens Important Muscles
You’ve probably heard of Kegel exercises, which are used to help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, but, unfortunately, many women incorrectly perform Kegels. Kegel exercises are most effective for women with stress incontinence.
To perform a Kegel correctly, you need to learn to tighten the muscles and pull them up, rather than simply bearing down. You also need to learn to contract your lower abdominal muscles simultaneously with the pelvic floor muscles. Physical therapy for incontinence can help you learn how to do these movements properly, allowing you to correctly perform repetitions of the exercise and strengthen those important muscles.
Sometimes, vaginal cones (small weighted cones) may be used to further strengthen pelvic floor muscles. You simply place a cone into the vagina, squeezing your pelvic floor muscles to keep the cone securely in place.
Biofeedback Helps Women Learn More about Their Pelvic Floor Muscles
Since it’s so important to do Kegel exercises correctly, Dr. Mathews may recommend biofeedback to help you understand where your pelvic floor muscles are located, in addition to what it feels like when they contract. Biofeedback is also helpful when your muscles are particularly weak.
During this type of physical therapy for incontinence, we place (or have you place) a sensor (which is like a tampon) inside the vagina. These sensors connect to a computer, which allows you to see on a screen the movements you make using the pelvic floor muscles. Being able to see the screen allows you to see when you are doing the movement correctly.
Dr. Mathews and his caring staff are dedicated to helping women with incontinence. To learn more about physical therapy for incontinence, please contact us to set up an appointment.