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.
Symptom of Incontinence
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.
Management of Incontinence
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 Street
Anderson, IN 46016