There can be many causes for urinary dysfunction. Once your doctor rules out any serious conditions with diagnostic testing, the physical therapists at Zion Physical Therapy focus on identifying and treating the musculoskeletal components (ie bone, joint, muscle, connective tissue and nerve) of your condition. In most of the bladder conditions listed, weakness and/or restrictions in the muscle tissue can occur, which can lead to irritation and trigger points (hyperactive areas of tight and shortened tissue). Physical therapy can help by identifying the areas of weakness and of decreased tissue flexibility, and by increasing awareness and strength of the muscles of the pelvic floor. Urinary dysfunctions can include but are not limited to:
  • Urinary stress incontinence: Urine loss with activities that increase intra-abdominal pressure such as coughing, laughing, sneezing or exercising
  • Urinary urge incontinence: Urine loss due to a strong sudden urge to urinate.
  • Mixed incontinence: Combination of stress and urge incontinence
  • Pain in the urethra, bladder, low back, and/or pelvis.
  • Difficulty with initiating urination
  • Urinary frequency: Greater than 1 trip to the bathroom every 2-4 hours
  • Urinary urgency, hesitancy, retention and/or incomplete emptying
  • Nocturia- nighttime urinary frequency: More than 1 trip to the bathroom per night
  • Weak urine stream and/or a stream that stops and starts
  • Overactive bladder
  • Burning sensation with urination (urinary tract infection symptoms)
  • Functional incontinence: Incontinence that happens with activities of daily living, ie lifting, squatting, walking etc.
Treatments for urinary dysfunction include but are not limited to:
  • Manual therapy both external and internal if necessary
  • Biofeedback to promote relaxation or strengthening
  • Core strengthening
  • Releasing abdominal/visceral restrictions
  • Therapeutic exercise
  • Relaxation training
  • Re-educating the muscles to contract at appropriate times
  • Bladder retraining
  • Trigger point release
  • Patient education regarding bladder irritants
  • Modalities (ie. Heat, ice packs, Electrical stimulation or US) if necessary