Urge incontinence is the sudden loss of urine due to a strong urge to go to the bathroom. People often have triggers; things that make them want to go even more, such as hearing water running, getting your key in the door, etc. You may experience bladder leakage because the urge is so strong and you are unable to hold it any longer. Though there may be weakness in the pelvic floor, there are often muscles that are too tight. Treatment will always involve bladder and brain behaviour changes.
Over Active Bladder is the strong urge to go with/without the loss of urine. This is treated the same as urge incontinence.
These muscles work together balancing the intra abdominal pressures our body experiences when we move and perform activities. When we breathe in, air travels from the atmosphere, a place of higher pressure to our lungs, a place of lower pressure. The air inside our lungs now has increased the pressure which makes us exhale, or blow the air back out into the atmosphere. When we inhale, our diaphragm lowers as does our pelvic floor and when we exhale our diaphragm and pelvic floor lift; our transverse abs and deep multifidi are also lengthening and shortening. This all happens in response to the change in pressures.
If someone is primarily a ‘chest breather’ their diaphragm and pelvic floor won’t be able to reach these full excursions and this throws the balance off. If our abdominal core system is not working efficiently, increased forces will be felt through the rest of the body, such as the low back, hip and pelvis.
Treatment will look at your internal system to ensure the pelvic floor is working optimally. This can be done either internally and/or by using real time ultrasound to look at how the pelvic floor muscles are acting on the bladder and to look at the transverse abdominis and oblique muscles to ensure they are working optimally.
This occurs when the bladder, urethra or rectum drops from its normal position to one that is lower. Though there are many risk factors for this, having a weak pelvic floor that is unable to support the organs is a common reason. Treatment will help you to learn how to access your pelvic floor muscles as well as balance the intra abdominal pressure so it doesn’t negatively influence the pelvic floor.
People can have POP with or without incontinence.
This assessment will include both an internal pelvic floor assessment as well as using imaging ultrasound to look at your transverse abs to ensure they are working well to support you.
When is it time to have a pelvic floor assessment?