Bladder fitness 101

True or False   

  1. Urinary Incontinence is a normal aging process affecting one out of every three people.
  2. Decreasing fluid consumption is a good way to improve bladder control.
  3. Men do not need to do kegel (pelvic floor) exercises.
  4. Incontinence is the 2nd most common reason for nursing home placement.
  5. 50% of women are incontinent one year postpartum.

Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy

Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy is designed to evaluate the musculoskeletal component of bladder, bowel, and sexual dysfunction. We have 16 muscles comprising three layers in the pelvic floor, and their job is to support the pelvic organs, control sphincter muscles for bladder and bowel function, respond to sexual stimulation, stretch with childbirth up to three times their length, stabilize the joints of the pelvis, and act as a pump for lymph drainage. And when those muscles are not functioning properly, they can contribute to a plethora of conditions.

Common urological diagnoses that can benefit from physical therapy include stress urinary incontinence, urge urinary incontinence, bladder-organ prolapse, voiding dysfunction, interstitial cystitis (pre- or post-surgically), and pelvic pain.

Physical therapy for pelvic floor dysfunction will entail an evaluation by a pelvic health physical therapist to determine which treatment of therapy is right for you.

These treatments may include:

  1. Biofeedback: a bio-neuromuscular training approach where patients learn to contract and relax the muscle aided by visual and auditory feedback
  2. Electrical muscle stimulation: for muscle re-education and urge control
  3. Lifestyle modification: toilet techniques, bladder retraining, timed voiding, urge suppression, breath work, relaxation techniques, dietary modifications, and/or constipation management
  4. Therapeutic exercise: with functional application to daily activities
  5. Home program: for maintenance

If you find yourself struggling with any of these related topics, then ask your doctor if physical therapy is right for you!


  1. False: It is common, but not normal.
  2. False: Dehydration can lead to urinary tract infections and constipation.
  3. False: Pelvic floor exercises can help with core strength, bladder control, and sexual function.
  4. True
  5. True: 80% of people struggle with identifying proper recruitment and relaxation of the pelvic floor muscles.