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Urinary (or bladder) incontinence also referred to as loss of bladder control or uncontrollable urination as is when you are not able to keep urine from leaking from your urethra, the tube that carries urine out of your body from your bladder. It can range from an occasional leakage of urine, to a complete inability to hold any urine.
Several authors have reported the effectiveness of chiropractic adjustments on elderly patients with urinary incontinence. Stude et al reported a case study of a fourteen year old female patient recovered completely from traumatically induced urinary incontinence using manual manipulation. Chiropractic adjustment seems to be effective in childhood enuresis and functional enuresis as reported in several studies. (Chiropractic Adjustments Reduced Urinary Incontinence, John Zhang, MD, PhD, Phillip Haselden, DC, Rodger Tepe, PhD., Logan College of Chiropractic ).
The four main types of urinary incontinence are:
Bowel incontinence, a separate topic, is the inability to control the passage of stool.
Incontinence is most common among the elderly. Women are more likely than men to have urinary incontinence.
Infants and children are not considered incontinent, but merely untrained, up to the time of toilet training. Occasional accidents are not unusual in children up to age 6 years. Young (and sometimes teenage) girls may have slight leakage of urine when laughing.
Nighttime urination in children is normal until the age of 5 or 6.
See your MD for an initial evaluation and to come up with a treatment plan. Treatment options vary, depending on the cause and type of incontinence you have. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to help manage incontinence.
The following methods are used to strengthen the muscles of your pelvic floor:
To find the pelvic muscles when you first start Kegel exercises, stop your urine flow midstream. The muscles needed to do this are your pelvic floor muscles. Do NOT contract your abdominal, thigh, or buttocks muscles. And Do NOT overdo the exercises. This may tire the muscles out and actually worsen incontinence.
Two methods called biofeedback and electrical stimulation can help you learn how to perform Kegel exercises. Biofeedback uses electrodes placed on the pelvic floor muscles, giving you feedback about when they are contracted and when they are not. Electrical stimulation uses low-voltage electric current to stimulate the pelvic floor muscles. It can be done at home or at a clinic for 20 minutes every 1 - 4 days.
Biofeedback and electrical stimulation will no longer be necessary once you have identified the pelvic floor muscles and mastered the exercises on your own.
Vaginal cones enhance the performance of Kegel exercises for women. Other devices for incontinence are also available.
For leakage, wear absorbent pads or undergarments. There are many well designed products that go completely unnoticed by anyone but you.
Call your local emergency number (such as 911) or go to an emergency room if any of the following accompany a sudden loss of urine control:
Call your MD if:
What to expect at your health care provider's office
Your medical doctor will take your medical history and perform a physical examination, with a focus on your abdomen, genitals, pelvis, rectum, and neurologic system.
Medical history questions may include:
Diagnostic tests that may be performed include:
Other tests may be performed to rule out pelvic weakness as the cause of the incontinence. One such test is called the Q-tip test. This test involves measurement of the change in the angle of the urethra when it is at rest and when it is straining. An angle change of greater than 30 degrees often indicates significant weakness of the muscles that support the bladder. (Reference: HealthCentral Website)
From a chiropractic natural treatment perspective, chiropractic care improves urinary continence in some patients. A recently published case-series report indicates chiropractic care may be beneficial for certain individuals suffering from urinary incontinence.
The report reviews 21 patients aged 13 to 90 years with a history of urinary incontinence for the preceding 4 months to 49 years with associated muscle dysfunction and low back and/or pelvic pain. Incontinence was so bad in 18 of the 21 that they had been wearing incontinence pads during the previous days and nights upon presenting themselves for treatment. All patients were evaluated and treated chiropractically for muscle impairments in the lumbar spine, pelvis and pelvic floor and low back and/or hip pain. Treatments included chiropractic manipulative therapy, flexion distraction manipulation and/or the use of a percussion instrument for the treatment of myofascial trigger points. The urinary incontinence symptoms resolved in 10 patients, considerably improved in 7 cases, and slightly improved in 4 cases. Periodic follow-up examinations for the past 6 years, and no less than 2 years, indicate the improvements of urinary incontinence for each patient remained stable.
Source: Journal of Chiropractic Medicine; online. March 9, 2012.
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