One common question we hear from our Women’s Health Physical Therapy patients is: why do I pee when I cough, laugh or sneeze? Is this normal? While this occurrence may be common, it’s not something you should have to accept and learn to live with. Urinary incontinence, or the loss of control of your bladder, is a condition that may be a sign of weakened muscles in the core and pelvic floor.
When we cough, laugh or sneeze, there is an increase in intra-abdominal pressure which causes our diaphragm to contract down into the area of our bladder. If the bladder can’t withstand that pressure, it causes you to urinate unintentionally, aka “leakage”. We tend to over-utilize our abdominal muscles to compensate for weakened pelvic floor muscles. The good news in all of this is that physical therapy can actually help to strengthen the core and pelvic floor muscles that are responsible for holding up the bladder, thus, preventing leaks.
For patients suffering from urinary incontinence or other symptoms related to weakened core and pelvic floor muscles, physical therapy provides minimally invasive, one-on-one treatments to help strengthen those muscles and address any functional limitations. Just like any other condition treated by physical therapy, we can address the unique musculoskeletal problems of this region and also provide preventative services to keep this issue from ever coming back.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of urinary incontinence or any other issues associated with the pelvic floor, contact one of our physical therapists today.