World Continence Awareness Week 2017

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June marks World Continence Awareness Week 2017, from 18-24 June.
Up to 6 million people in the UK are thought to experience bladder problems and if you’re one of them, you should know that you can be helped through physiotherapy.
You don’t have to put up with it, you shouldn’t be embarrassed to talk with us about it and we can help to change your life.
Read on to find out what our specialist physiotherapist Ali Cann says about bladder and bowel incontinence.



What is bladder incontinence?

Bladder incontinence (also known as urinary incontinence) is the unintentional passing of urine.

There are several types:
Stress incontinence: Urine leaks when your bladder is under pressure; coughing, sneezing, laughing and exercising.

Urge incontinence: Feeling a sudden urge to pass urine and you are unable to hold on.

Overflow incontinence: You’re unable to fully empty your bladder, which then causes frequent leaking.

Total incontinence: Your bladder can’t store any urine at all

Stress/urge incontinence: It’s possible to have a combination of stress and urge incontinence.

What is bowel incontinence?
Bowel incontinence (also known as faecal incontinence) is the inability to control bowel movements, resulting in involuntary soiling.

People can experience bowel incontinence in different ways:
Accidents: Some people can have an accident when they get a sudden urge to go to the toilet but do not make it in time.
No sensation: Some people have no sensation before soiling themselves
Passing wind: Some people have slight soiling when passing wind.

Who gets incontinence?

Bladder incontinence: Affects around 6 million people in the UK.
Bowel incontinence: Affects about 1 in 10 people.

Incontinence can be caused by:

  • Pregnancy
  • Vaginal delivery
  • Obesity
  • Ageing (although it is not inevitable!)
  • Family history of incontinence
  • Long-term medical conditions such as MS and diabetes

But the good news is, it can be helped with physiotherapy, changes to lifestyle, diet and exercise. Our specialists physiotherapists are waiting to create your life-changing programme.

Want to know how physiotherapy can help with bladder and bowel problems?

The main focus of physiotherapy will be to address any muscle imbalances (weakness/tightness). We’ll also look at other influences and treatment may also include:

Lifestyle and dietary changes
Bladder and bowel retraining
Pelvic floor strengthening
Pelvic floor down training to relax overactive pelvic floor muscles

This is very individual but you should expect to see improvements within 4-6 weeks.
The changes that you make need to become part of your everyday life and you should be doing your pelvic floor exercises for the rest of your life!

Top 5 tips for bladder problems:

Don’t limit your fluid intake – aim for 2 litres a day
Don’t go to the toilet ‘just in case’
Do cut down on caffeine, fizzy drinks and alcohol
Do your pelvic floor exercises

Top 5 tips for bowel problems:

Make sure you are drinking enough water
Make sure you have a healthy diet (talk to a dietician for advice)
Do not put off emptying your bowels
Do your pelvic floor exercises – focusing on your back passage
Do book an assessment with us to find out how physiotherapy can improve your bladder or bowel problems to change your life and give you the confidence you may have lost!

Our specialists physios are waiting to meet you, find out how incontinence is affecting you and create your life-changing programme.
Get in touch for your first appointment on 01322 277200.