Millions of American men and women suffer from involuntary loss of bladder or bowel contents. This condition, called incontinence, affects people of all ages and often leads to embarrassment, avoidance of social activities, decreased physical activity, depression, and can even interfere with employment. A large percentage of men and women with incontinence suffer silently and do not seek help because they believe their problem is simply a normal part of aging, an expected consequence of having a baby, or is only correctable with surgery or medication.
Incontinence is a symptom, not a disease itself. Incontinence may be caused by nervous system injuries, pelvic injury or surgery, and/or changes associated with the aging process. Incontinence is not, however, a normal result of aging. In many cases, incontinence is caused by weakness in the pelvic floor muscles. The pelvic floor muscles form a sling, like a hammock, supporting the bottom of the pelvis and aiding in controlling the flow of urine and bowel contents. If the pelvic floor muscles are weak, one may experience accidents during certain activities or movements such as jumping, lifting, running, sneezing, or laughing. Weakness in the pelvic muscles may also contribute to “overactive bladder,” when a sudden, strong, and uncontrolled urge to urinate or empty the bowels catches a person by surprise.
The Carl D. Erskine Rehabilitation Center offers help for bladder or bowel control problems (incontinence) through physical therapy facilitated by specially trained physical therapists. Our physical therapists take a caring, private approach to treating incontinence, using behavioral techniques to teach patients to manage, if not eliminate their symptoms. Patients are educated about normal bladder functioning and habits that may help or harm their progress. For example, many patients experience significant relief just by drinking more water and decreasing caffeine and alcohol in their diet. Correct training of the pelvic floor muscles (often called Kegel exercises), are an essential part of continence rehabilitation and ultimately gaining control of the patient’s symptoms. Other areas of rehabilitation specialty include pelvic pain, chronic constipation, and complications from gynecological or prostate surgeries. A doctor’s referral is required. Therapy generally lasts approximately 4-16 sessions. Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial insurances are accepted.
Carl D. Erskine Rehabilitation Center Suite 170, Erskine Medical Office Building 2020 Meridian StreetAnderson, IN 46016 (765) 646-8663