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Urinary incontinence – Physiotherapy treatments

Mr. Ajailal M, HOD, Dept. of Physiotherapy, SUT Hospital, Pattom, Ph: 9633305435

The feeling of having to urinate frequently is a problem that bothers both men and women. Some people urinate unknowingly even when they sneeze or cough. In the past, it was more common in people over 60, but today it is common in teens and children. It is more common in women after childbirth.

The bladder is a compartment made of muscle that can store 400ml – 600ml of urine. Usually people with no other health problems urinate 8 – 9 times a day. However, if you have to urinate more often or while a sneeze or cough, you need to find the cause and seek treatment. This condition is called urinary incontinence.

There are three major types of urinary incontinence.

  1. Stress incontinence.
  2. Urge incontinence
  3. Overflow incontinence

Stress incontinence
Stress incontinence is one of the most common problems in women. Urinary incontinence is a condition caused by stress on the abdomen. When you laugh out loud, sneeze or cough, you may urinate unknowingly. In women, it may often due to postpartum muscle weakness, prolonged labour pain, and an overweight baby.

Urge incontinence

This is commonly seen in the elderly. Excessive activity of the urinary bladder can cause you to lose control of your urination before reaching the bathroom. It is also found in people taking medication for diabetes, urinary tract infections and psychiatric problems.

Overflow incontinence

Even though the bladder is completely filled the person cannot urinate, as a result urine leaks out. This condition may be due to the weakness of bladder muscles or some medications.

Reasons for Urinary incontinence

There are two reasons for urinary incontinence. One is that the bladder is overfilled. The second is that it feels like urinating even though the bladder is not full. The main causes are diabetes, childbirth, paralysis, fibroids, hyperthyroidism, tension, urinary tract infections, prostate gland diseases and medications.

Urinary incontinence is a condition which can be treated and cured if it is diagnosed early. There are various treatments available today. Among them physiotherapy treatment is found to be more effective. It is important to make lifestyle changes.

  • Ensure to empty the bladder every day at the same time.
  • Avoid lifting heavy objects.
  • Avoid drinking coffee and too much water when you need more physical activity.
  • Be sure to go as soon as you feel like urinating.
  • Avoid drinking water at bedtime.


  • Practice controlling the bladder.
  • Kegel exercises are very effective.
  • Pelvic floor training with bio-feedback is a very useful physiotherapy treatment.