November is Bladder Health Awareness Month

Jamie Justice, physical therapist, physical therapy, dekalb, IL
Jamie Justice, PT, WCS

Are you thankful for bladder health? Incontinence may not be high on your list of concerns. Indeed, not having a bladder problem is something many of us take completely take for granted. Yet more than 25 million Americans right now experience bladder or bowel control issues. Since incontinence is a symptom rather than a disease, the method of treatment depends on diagnostic results. Bladder issues affect both men and women alike.

Many people hear the word “incontinence” and immediately think of wearing Depends. But there’s a much wider range of symptoms associated with this condition. Incontinence refers to any amount of bladder leakage. Even if you only leak a few drops when you cough, sneeze, or walk to the bathroom, we classify this as incontinence. And incontinence is a dysfunction: it’s not normal, and it’s a sign that your pelvic floor muscles are not working as well as they should be with your bladder. 

Incontinence can be classified as stress incontinence – leakage with an increase in intra-abdominal pressure through actions like coughing, sneezing, jumping, exercising, bending; or urge incontinence, which is leaking when you have an urge to empty your bladder while heading to the bathroom.  Both types of leakage can be helped with physical therapy, and you do not have to alter your life anymore because of it.  The National Association For Continence is a good resource for people, highlighting how widespread this problem is and designating November as National Bladder Health Awareness Month.

Most treatment involves a combination of medicine, behavioral modification, pelvic muscle exercises, collection devices, and yes, absorbent products. However, most people are unaware of treatment options and simply accept these problems as the price of aging. Some people go for many years enduring leakage, thinking it’s normal, and never telling their physician. Despite the high success rates in treating incontinence, only 1 out of every 12 people affected seeks help. Don’t be like those other 11 people!

If you are experiencing any kind of issues and have questions, please give us a call or schedule a free consult: 815-758-5508.

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