Physiotherapy New Zealand | 19 June 2014
Does your bladder have you on a leash?
Take back control of your bladder is the message from physiotherapists ahead of World Continence Awareness Week (23 - 29
Physiotherapy New Zealand (PNZ) believes many people simply put up with incontinence and the restrictions it puts on
A survey from PNZ shows more than 50% of New Zealanders believe incontinence is just a 'normal' part of getting older.
Pelvic floor physiotherapist Melissa Davidson says incontinence maybe common but it is not normal.
"It's a sign of dysfunction or a problem in the body and it can be treated very effectively."
"I see patients who feel like their bladder has them on a leash. They are worried about leaving the house, being too far
away from a toilet and they've certainly ruled out any jumping around on a trampoline or at the gym."
"I tell them there's no need to suffer away quietly. Incontinence can be managed, it can be treated, and in many cases
it can be cured."
"Research shows pelvic floor training from a physio is successful in treating over 80% of incontinence cases, so I
really do urge people to seek help and to talk to a pelvic floor physio or GP about this problem."
The New Zealand Continence Association estimates that 1.1 million New Zealanders experience incontinence.
For more information visit www.physiotherapy.org.nz
or phone the continence helpline 0800 650 659.
Take control of your bladder
1. Do your pelvic floor exercises
Your pelvic floor is a muscle and just like any other, it’s one that needs to be exercised. The idea of these exercises
is to 'squeeze and lift' your pelvic floor, holding for 3 -10 seconds and then repeating. Tying them to a daily habit
(like brushing your teeth) can be a useful way of remembering to do them.
2. Try the brace technique
Lifting heavy objects/weights, or chronic coughing can all weaken your pelvic floor. To prevent this try using the
‘brace’ technique when you perform these activities. To do this simply ‘squeeze and lift’ your pelvic floor before you
lift or cough.
3. Seek help
Talk to your GP if you are experiencing any incontinence problems and remember there is treatment available. You can
also see a pelvic floor physiotherapist directly for treatment or ring the continence helpline 0800 650 659 for free
# Notes to editors
Physiotherapy is effective in treating stress incontinence in 80 per cent of cases: http://w3.unisa.edu.au/researcher/issue/2005may/incontinence.asp