Urinary Urgency and Frequency (overactive bladder)
Urinary urgency and frequency (aka Overactive Bladder) refer to the strong and frequent urge to urinate, often resulting in the need to visit the bathroom more frequently than usual. Physical therapy can be beneficial in managing urinary urgency and frequency by addressing underlying factors that contribute to these symptoms. Here’s how physical therapy can help:
- Bladder retraining: Physical therapists can guide you through bladder retraining techniques to help improve bladder control and reduce urinary urgency and frequency. This involves gradually increasing the time between bathroom visits and learning strategies to delay voiding.
- Pelvic floor muscle training: Physical therapists specializing in pelvic health can assess the strength, coordination, and endurance of your pelvic floor muscles. They can provide specific exercises to strengthen these muscles, known as Kegel exercises. Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles can help improve bladder control and reduce urgency.
- Biofeedback: Physical therapists may use biofeedback techniques to help you gain awareness and control over your pelvic floor muscles and bladder function. Biofeedback involves using sensors to provide visual or auditory feedback on muscle activity, helping you learn how to properly relax and contract the pelvic floor muscles and regulate bladder function.
- Fluid and dietary management: Physical therapists can provide guidance on fluid intake and dietary modifications that may help manage urinary urgency and frequency. They can advise on appropriate fluid intake to avoid overfilling the bladder while ensuring adequate hydration. They may also provide recommendations regarding foods and drinks that can irritate the bladder and worsen symptoms.
- Posture and movement retraining: Poor posture and movement patterns can affect bladder function. Physical therapists can assess your posture and movement mechanics and provide guidance on proper body mechanics during activities that support healthy bladder function.
- Education and behavioral modifications: Physical therapists can provide education on healthy bladder habits, such as proper voiding techniques, maintaining a regular bathroom schedule, and avoiding excessive straining. They may also offer guidance on lifestyle modifications, such as managing stress levels and avoiding bladder irritants, to help reduce urinary urgency and frequency.
Our skilled team of pelvic floor physical therapists will perform a thorough evaluation to identify areas of impairment that are contributing to your symptoms. Following the exam, your physical therapist will work with you to create a plan of care that best suits your personal goals and needs.