Physical Therapy: a Primary Intervention for Pelvic Floor Dysfunction and Urinary Incontinence

By Amy Stein and Mary Hughes

Physical therapy is almost always the first line of defense with any orthopedic injury, in order to prevent possible invasive surgical procedures.  The pelvic floor musculature maybe the most overlooked group of muscles in the body.   The American Physical Therapy Association stated proper preventative measures by a physical therapist can help manage, if not alleviate, urinary incontinence.  In a study by Hung et. al they were able to improve symptoms of incontinence by “retraining diaphragmatic, deep abdominal and Pelvic floor muscle coordinated function.”

Over 25 million Americans suffer from urinary incontinence alone or involuntary loss of urine. And, it is not just a “women’s disorder;” men and children can have pelvic floor dysfunction as well. Physical therapy for pelvic floor muscle training is a great, less invasive option to help, reduce and/or stabilize pelvic organ prolapse, increase strength, improve sexual function and decrease leakage/incontinence.

American Physical Therapy Association. (2008, March 20). “Urinary Incontinence In Women Alleviated With Physical Therapy Treatment, New Study Reveals.” Medical News Today. Retrieved from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/101112.php, on October 29, 2012.

Hung, H. C., Hsiao, S. M., Chih, S. Y., Lin, H. H., & Tsauo, J. Y. (2010). An alternative intervention for urinary incontinence: Retraining diaphragmatic, deep abdominal and pelvic floor muscle coordinated function. Manual therapy, 15(3), 273-279.

Stein, A. (2009). Heal Pelvic Pain: A Proven Stretching, Strengthening, and Nutrition Program for Relieving Pain, Incontinence, IBS, and other Symptoms Without Surgery. New York: McGraw Hill.

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