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Top 5 Physiotherapy Techniques for Overactive Bladder Syndrome

by Busines Newswire
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Overactive bladder syndrome can significantly impact daily life, causing frequent and sudden urges to urinate. To manage these symptoms effectively, many individuals turn to pelvic floor physiotherapy in Edmonton. This specialized form of physiotherapy focuses on strengthening the male and female pelvic floor muscles, which are crucial in controlling bladder function.

It employs various techniques to enhance bladder control and minimize the urgency and frequency of urination. These treatments improve muscular function and aim to retrain the bladder and pelvic muscles to alleviate the symptoms associated with overactive bladder syndrome.

1. Manual Therapy

Manual therapy in pelvic floor physiotherapy involves specific hands-on techniques for manipulating and massaging the pelvic floor muscles and tissues. This method is beneficial for patients experiencing overactive bladder symptoms.

  • Technique: Physiotherapists use gentle yet effective manual manipulations to relax tight muscles and improve the flow of blood within the pelvic region. Techniques may include soft tissue massage, trigger point therapy, and mobilizations.
  • This helps to alleviate muscle tension and deactivate trigger points that may contribute to bladder urgency and frequency. Additionally, it enhances overall pelvic floor functionality and coordination, which are crucial for effective bladder control.

2. Electrical Stimulation 

Electrical stimulation is utilized to assist patients who have difficulty in actively contracting their pelvic floor muscles.

  • Technique: A mild and safe electrical current is applied through electrodes near or on the pelvic region. This stimulation induces the pelvic floor muscles to contract.
  • Electrical stimulation is particularly effective in teaching the pelvic floor muscles how to contract properly. It strengthens these muscles, enhancing control over bladder functions and reducing symptoms such as urinary urgency and incontinence.

3. Pelvic Floor Muscle Training (PFMT)

Pelvic Floor Muscle Training (PFMT) is an essential aspect of physiotherapy that aims to strengthen the muscles responsible for bladder control. Through regular practice, these exercises enhance the strength and endurance of the pelvic floor muscles. As a result, stronger pelvic floor muscles significantly diminish the urgency and frequency of urination, leading to improved bladder control and overall bladder function.

Technique:

  1. Identifying Pelvic Floor Muscles: The first step is for patients to identify their pelvic floor muscles, which are used to stop urination midstream. A pelvic floor physiotherapist may use palpation, ultrasound, or biofeedback techniques to help patients locate these muscles correctly.
  2. Contracting Muscles: Once identified, patients are taught to contract these muscles, holding the contraction for a few seconds (usually around three to five seconds).
  3. Releasing Muscles: After holding the contraction, it is important to fully relax the muscles, allowing them to return to their resting state. This relaxation phase is just as important as the contraction.
  4. Repetition and Routine: The cycle of contracting and relaxing should be repeated approximately 10-15 times per session. Patients are typically advised to perform these exercises three times a day.

Exercises

  • Kegels: The most well-known PFMT exercise involves tightening the pelvic floor muscles to stop the urine flow, holding the contraction, and then relaxing.
  • Bridge: Lying on the back with bent knees and feet flat on the ground, lift the hips while contracting the pelvic floor muscles as you rise, then lower back down and release the contraction.
  • Squats: While squatting, tighten the pelvic floor muscles as you lower down and release them as you stand.

4. Bladder Training

Bladder training is a behavioural technique to manage urinary urgency and frequency effectively.

Technique:

  1. Scheduled Voiding: Patients start by urinating at set times throughout the day — for example, every hour — regardless of the urge to go.
  2. Gradually Increasing Intervals: The intervals between bathroom visits are gradually extended. Depending on the patient’s progress and comfort, this might start with adding 15-minute increments every few days.
  3. Suppressing Urges: Patients are taught techniques to suppress urinary urges, such as pelvic floor muscle contractions, deep breathing, or distraction techniques.

Benefits

  • Increased Bladder Capacity: Gradually extending the time between voids helps increase the bladder’s capacity to hold urine.
  • Reduced Urgency: Over time, patients often experience a significant reduction in the sensation of urgency, leading to improved bladder control and fewer interruptions to daily life.

5. Dietary Management

Adjustments in diet can also play a crucial role in managing symptoms of an overactive bladder.

Implementing Dietary Changes

  • Identification of Irritants: The first step involves identifying specific dietary irritants that can worsen overactive bladder syndrome symptoms. Common irritants include caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods, artificial sweeteners, and acidic foods such as tomatoes and citrus fruits.
  • Modifying Intake:
      • Caffeine Reduction: Patients are advised to limit or eliminate sources of caffeine such as coffee, tea, some soft drinks, and chocolate, as caffeine can increase bladder activity and exasperate symptoms of urgency and frequency.
      • Alcohol Limitation: Alcohol is a diuretic and can also irritate the bladder lining. Reducing alcohol consumption can help manage the urgency and frequency of urination.
      • Avoiding Spicy and Acidic Foods: These foods can irritate the bladder and exacerbate symptoms, so they must be consumed in moderation or avoided depending on the individual’s tolerance.
  • Hydration Management:
    • Balanced Fluid Intake: While it may seem counterintuitive, adequate hydration is crucial. Patients should not restrict fluid intake excessively as this can concentrate urine and irritate the bladder. Instead, fluid intake should be balanced to avoid dehydration.
    • Timing of Fluid Intake: Limiting fluids in the evening can help reduce nocturia (the need to urinate frequently at night), thus improving sleep quality.

Enhance Your Pelvic Health with Proven Techniques

At Turning Point Physiotherapy in Edmonton, we are dedicated to providing pelvic floor physiotherapy. Our comprehensive approach targets the unique needs of those experiencing overactive bladder syndrome, utilizing a range of techniques to strengthen both male and female pelvic floors through respective male and female pelvic floor physiotherapy. Our clinic specializes in pelvic health physiotherapy, offering individualized treatment plans combining female and male pelvic floor physiotherapy to optimize results.

If you are struggling with overactive bladder syndrome and seeking effective relief, consider Turning Point Physiotherapy. Contact us to learn how our pelvic floor physiotherapy in Edmonton can significantly impact your life.