Biofeedback: Incontinence Training For Women

Apr 27 2011

Stress Incontinence Biofeedback

Interested in Treating Incontinence With Biofeedback?

Biofeedback training has a proven record for helping people overcome bladder incontinence. With the aid of a biofeedback machine, a person can learn which muscles to control to prevent bladder incontinence from happening. By performing regular bladder strengthening exercises, a person may be able to completely cure their problem with this debilitating disorder.

What Are The Different Types of Urinary Incontinence?

Stress incontinence

happens when the pressure differences between the inner abdomen and the urethral resistance are out of balance. You’ll know if you suffer from this type of incontinence if you lose control over your bladder when coughing, sneezing, laughing or performing some physical feat (like lifting heavy objects).

Urge incontinence

is also known as an overactive bladder. This type of urinary incontinence occurs when one senses the urge to void, but cannot reach the toilette in time. People over the age of 65 often experience this type of incontinence, but it also affects a significant percentage of younger women as well.

Mixed incontinence

is when a person suffers from both stress and urge type incontinences — although usually, a person will suffer from one more than the other.

What Causes Urinary Incontinence in Women?

Urinary incontinence often occurs when a women’s pelvic floor muscles become weakened or dysfunctional due to a number of possible causes, such as increased age or child birth.

The pelvic floor muscles are a group of muscles that play a critical role in both bladder and rectal support. For sufferers of bladder incontinence, the good news is that these muscles can be strengthened.

How To Strengthen The Pelvic Floor Muscles

Particularly, when it comes to treating urinary incontinence, it is important to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. This type of exercises is also referred to as kegels.

Kegel exercises are designed to strengthen and tone the muscles responsible for supporting the pelvic organs. With stronger muscles, a person can regain full control of the opening and closing of their bladder, leading to less urine leakage­.

Kegels must be performed regularly to keep the muscles responsive and in shape. Just think of yourself as an athlete in training – you want your muscles to be strong and have enough stamina to last throughout the day. This won’t happen unless you commit yourself to regular kegel workouts. But don’t worry, it only takes a few minutes each day to perform these exercises.

How To Locate The Pelvic Muscles

Locating the pelvic floor muscles is often one of the first problems a person treating urinary incontinence encounters. Learning how to contract and release this unseen and somewhat ambiguous muscle group is not intuitive for most people. Furthermore, may people attempting to practice pelvic floor exercises end up targeting the wrong muscles, which slows or prevents their progress.

Using a biofeedback machine, one can precisely target the muscles needed for proper bladder control. The biofeedback equipment provides immediate corrective feedback, making training sessions highly effective.

Biofeedback For Bladder Incontinence

The pelvic muscles are closest to the skin around the sides of the anus. In treatment, small EMG sensors can be attached near this skin area to monitor the activity of the muscles. Some types of more invasive treatment will place sensors directly inside the vagina or anus. These can monitor the pelvic floor muscles with even greater precision; however, some patients may find this uncomfortable.

(Consult your physician to learn more about the different types of biofeedback training for incontinence, and choose a therapy style that is right for you.)

As a patient learns to contract and release their pelvic floor muscles, biofeedback allows them to monitor their progress in real time on a computer display. This gives the patient instant feedback, quickly shaping their behavior towards fast and effective bladder control.

Correcting Bad Technique

In addition to monitoring the pelvic muscles, sensors are sometimes used to monitor the abdomen muscles. This can show when a patient is incorrectly using their stomach muscles to perform kegels.

Commonly, when starting treatment, patients will tense the wrong muscles when trying to target the pelvic region. The buttocks, thighs, stomach and chest regions should not be under any tension when performing kegels, and it’s important to breathe normally throughout the exercise.

Monitoring Progress

The sensors that record the activation of the target muscles also register the strength of the contractions. This enables a patient to observe the strengthening of their pelvic muscles over time.

Early results from proper muscle conditioning can be spotted with EMG sensors. This confirmation is important, as improper training can lead to slow progress or the formation of bad habits.

Information About Biofeedback Therapy

Most sufferers of stress incontinence need only four sessions to master the pelvic floor muscle exercises needed to cure bladder incontinence. A typical visit to a biofeedback therapist lasts for around 30 minutes and involves guided instruction from a therapist whilst being monitored by biofeedback equipment.

After treatment, it is important to practice learned techniques at home. The target muscles need strengthening and this can only be accomplished through many repetitions.

After the muscles are conditioned, less leakage should occur — if any at all — so it’s in your best interest to commit to a daily regime of practice.

Also, keeping a journal of when leakage occurs is a good way to chart your progress when undergoing treatment for bladder incontinence. When kegel exercises are performed daily, most women see marked improvements after only four to seven weeks.

Benefits of Using Biofeedback For Bladder Incontinence

Biofeedback training is a completely drug and risk-free form of treatment for various types of bladder incontinence. Biofeedback is often highly effective and provides long lasting results.

Biofeedback training tackles the core problems associated with bladder incontinence – it’s not a quick fix, or a means to hide the symptoms of this disorder. Using a biofeedback machine, a person can get instant feedback, reinforcing the types of behavior that can stop bladder incontinence.

If you suffer from urinary incontinence, visit your physician and discuss treatment methods that involve biofeedback training.

Comments are off for this post