Physical Therapy for Incontinence


If you’ve become the king or queen of Kegel exercises in hopes of stopping bladder accidents but it’s not working, it’s time to give physical therapy a try.

How can physical therapy stop bladder leakage? The bladder is supported by a muscular sling known as the pelvic floor. In women this group of muscles supports the bladder, rectum and vagina. In men, it supports the bladder and rectum. “Just like any other muscle group in the body, it’s important to keep it in top condition,” says Jane Frahm a pelvic floor physical therapist at DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan (RIM).

At RIM, pelvic floor therapists are specifically trained to work with pelvic floor muscles in women, men and children. Childbirth, weight gain, prostate cancer treatment and surgery, and orthopedic conditions especially involving the hip, can have an impact on the pelvic floor.  When this muscle group is compromised, it can lead to the inability to hold urine, bowel movements and gas. In women, it can also mean problems with vaginal penetration and in children they may not be able to relax enough to go to the bathroom.

“You don’t have to deal with a lifetime of incontinence pads or countless Kegel exercises. During physical therapy, we teach you how to do Kegels correctly, along with other exercises, and we look for things like hip tightness, sciatic nerve pressure, or poor posture that might need rehabbing, as well. All these muscle groups work together, and our goal is to educate and strengthen all of them to maximize your outcome," says Frahm.

Frahm says RIM tailors the therapy program for each patient. Most pelvic floor patients meet once a week, and within 6-8 weeks some report seeing a big difference.

“I love when our patients tell me that they felt confident enough to buy a light-colored pair of pants or they didn’t fiddle with pads all weekend long at the beach," says Frahm.

To find a location and learn more about pelvic floor physical therapy at DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, visit RIM Rehab Incontinence Therapy page.

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