5 Causes of Urinary Incontinence and How to Fix Them
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5 Causes of Urinary Incontinence And How To Fix Them

Hey there, wonderful people of Maple Valley! It’s Amy Konvalin your expert physical therapist, here to talk about a topic that many of us prefer not to discuss openly but affects far more people than you might think: urinary incontinence. 
Urinary incontinence is a silent struggle that many of our friends and neighbors face daily.
Picture this: you’re out enjoying a sunny day in Maple Valley hiking one of our beautiful trails, or even just strolling through the vibrant Farmers market.
You’re savoring every moment, but then it happens- an unexpected leak.
For those of you who are over 40 and dealing with this issue, you understand the frustration and fear that it brings. You may have turned to painkillers in desperation, hoping for relief.
Deep down, you know that’s not the solution.

If you’ve been struggling with this issue, please know that you’re not alone, and there’s hope for a brighter, pain-free future.

Understanding Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence isn’t a one-size-fits-all problem. It comes in various forms, each with its own set of triggers and challenges. To tackle this issue head-on, you need to understand its common types:

  • Stress Incontinence: This occurs when physical activity, sneezing, or coughing puts pressure on your bladder, causing unintentional leakage. It’s like your bladder’s seal isn’t as strong as it used to be.
  • Urge Incontinence: Often referred to as an overactive bladder, this type involves a sudden, intense need to urinate, followed by involuntary leakage. Your bladder is calling the shots, and you have little control.
  • Overflow Incontinence: When your bladder doesn’t empty fully during urination, it can lead to constant dribbling or leakage. You may feel like you’re never quite done in the restroom.
  • Functional Incontinence: Sometimes, physical or cognitive impairments make it challenging to reach the restroom in time, leading to accidents.
  • Mixed Incontinence: This is a combination of two or more of the above types. It’s like dealing with multiple foes at once.

The Culprits of Urinary Incontinence

Now that you understand the different types of urinary incontinence, it’s essential to understand what causes this often-dreaded condition. Knowledge is power, my friends, and it’s the first step toward taking control of your life.

Muscle Weakness

One of the primary culprits behind urinary incontinence is weakened pelvic floor muscles.

These muscles are like the unsung heroes of urinary control, supporting your bladder and controlling the flow of urine.

Over time, factors like age, childbirth, and certain medical conditions can lead to muscle weakness.

When these muscles can’t do their job effectively, leakage becomes more likely.

The good news is that with targeted exercises and physical therapy, you can strengthen these muscles and regain control.

Nerve Damage

Problems with the nerves that control your bladder can also result in urinary incontinence.

This can be due to conditions like diabetes, which can damage nerve function or certain neurological disorders.

Additionally, surgeries in the pelvic region can sometimes impact nerve function.

Nerve-related incontinence can be complex, but it’s a challenge that can be managed with the right approach.

Hormonal Changes

For our lovely ladies in Maple Valley, hormonal shifts during menopause can weaken the muscles around the bladder and urethra, contributing to urinary incontinence.

The drop in estrogen levels can affect the tissue strength in the pelvic region.

While you can’t stop the natural aging process, you can explore hormone replacement therapy and other treatments to mitigate the effects and improve bladder control.


Ironically, some medications can exacerbate urinary incontinence.

Diuretics, for example, can increase urine production, putting more strain on your bladder.

Sedatives and certain muscle relaxants may affect bladder function. If you suspect that your medication is contributing to your incontinence, it’s crucial to consult with your healthcare provider to explore alternative options.

Lifestyle Factors

Do you love a morning latte or an evening wine? (We all do!)  Excessive caffeine and alcohol consumption can irritate the bladder and increase the urgency to urinate. Smoking can contribute to chronic coughing, which can exacerbate stress incontinence.

Additionally, carrying excess weight can put additional pressure on the pelvic region, worsening your incontinence symptoms over time.

The Path To Easing Urinary Incontinence

Let’s explore how you can regain control and ease your urinary incontinence without relying on painkillers or surgery. You have the power to take back your life and say goodbye to those unexpected leaks.

Pelvic Floor Exercises

Ah, the pelvic floor muscles—the unsung heroes of urinary control. Regularly practicing pelvic floor exercises (Kegels) can help strengthen these muscles, reducing or even eliminating leakage.

  • To perform a Kegel, it’s as simple as tapping into the muscles you use to halt the flow of urine. Hold this contraction for a few seconds, then gracefully release. Aim to repeat this sequence 10-15 times, a few times a day.

Consistency is your ally here; with regular practice, these exercises can not only strengthen but potentially eliminate leakage.

Bladder Training Exercises

Stop rushing to the toilet so much!

Bladder training exercises introduce a strategic and gradual increase in the time between your bathroom visits. While it demands patience, this technique is a proven game-changer in enhancing your bladder’s capacity and improving control over time.

This technique involves gradually increasing the time between bathroom visits, helping your bladder hold more urine. It takes patience, but it can significantly improve your control over time.

Picture this as a training regimen for your bladder—just as you would build endurance for a marathon. By incrementally extending the intervals between visits, you empower your bladder to hold more urine, reducing the urgency and frequency of those inconvenient trips.

Mind-Body Techniques

Stress and urinary incontinence often go hand in hand, creating a cycle that we’re determined to break.

Introducing mind-body techniques, such as yoga and meditation, can be transformative.

These practices are not just about physical postures or sitting in stillness; they are about cultivating a calm mind. Stress reduction contributes significantly to better bladder control.

Healthy mind, healthy body!

Lifestyle Adjustments

Yes, we all love a morning coffee or an evening wine, but making small changes can have a big impact on your bladder health.

Reduce caffeine and alcohol intake. These beverages are known irritants to the bladder, and cutting back can alleviate some of the strain.

Quit smoking. Beyond its myriad health risks, smoking can contribute to chronic coughing, which, in turn, can worsen stress incontinence. Quitting is a gift to your overall well-being

Maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight can exert undue pressure on your pelvic floor muscles, exacerbating incontinence.

Making these small but impactful changes is an act of self-care that resonates within, positively influencing your journey to urinary continence.

It’s important to love yourself.

Physical Therapy

When it comes to addressing the root causes of urinary incontinence, seeking guidance from a trained physical therapist is a wise and empowering choice.

Together, we can dive into a personalized regimen designed to strengthen your pelvic floor, enhance muscle control, and address the nuanced factors contributing to your incontinence. We will ensure that your physical therapy becomes a collaborative journey where your goals become ours, and the path to regaining control is navigated together.

Are you ready for the next step?

The Final Step In Future Proofing Your Pelvis

If you have found it difficult to perform these tips, or found they aren’t working for you, physical therapy can help!

An expert physical therapist will be able to assess your condition and create a personalized exercise program that suits your needs. They will also be able to provide you with tips and tricks to prevent further injury, such as modifying your daily activities or suggesting the right footwear.

With physical therapy, you’ll have an extra layer of support to get you back to the things you love.

Now, we’re thrilled to extend a special offer to you: a Free  Pelvic Pain Assessment

During this personalized assessment, you’ll receive one-on-one time with a skilled physical therapist who will address your concerns, answer your questions, and provide tailored treatment options for a healthier future.

It’s a golden opportunity to gain expert insights and take proactive measures to protect your knees!

Now, my dear friends in Maple Valley, I want you to know that there is hope. You don’t have to rely on painkillers or let urinary incontinence control your life. You deserve to live without fear, frustration, and embarrassment.

One of our expert physical therapists will be able to assess your condition and create a personalized exercise program that suits your needs. They will also be able to provide you with tips and tricks to prevent further injury, such as modifying your daily activities

To help you on your journey to a life free from urinary incontinence, I invite you to take advantage of our FREE Pelvic Pain Assessment at Physical Therapy for Everybody. This assessment will allow us to understand your unique situation and create a personalized plan to ease your pain and regain control.

Don’t let urinary incontinence hold you back any longer. It’s time to take the first step toward freedom and a brighter future.

Still Unsure About Travelling Into Clinic?

We understand you may be skeptical about the power physical therapy holds in creating a new life. This may be holding you back.

That’s why we offer a Free Telephone Consultation. From the couch or even your bed, you can speak with our experienced PTs and gain valuable advice without any obligations.

Don’t let urinary incontinence embarrass you anymore.

Call us today at 425-658-4944 to book your Free Pelvic Pain Assessment or schedule your Free Telephone Consultation.

Take control of your pelvis, today.

Additional Free Information For Knee Pain Relief 

Read our blog – 3 Exercises You Must Try To Overcome Stress Incontinence

Read our blog – 5 Tips For Women Wanting To Stay Healthy

Follow us on social media at the   Physical Therapy for Everybody Facebook Page and Physical Therapy for Everybody YouTube Channel.

Dr. Amy Konvalin

Dr. Amy Konvalin

Struggling with pain and dysfunction can impact every part of our lives — it drains our energy, distracts us from our goals, and keeps us from the people and activities we love. As an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist, Dr. Amy Konvalin understands how frustrating those limitations can be — and she knows how to help get you back to the life you want to live! Beginning with a focused evaluation, Dr. Amy works to determine the root causes of your pain, as well as understanding how it affects the way you move through your world. Dysfunctional patterns of movement often grow worse with time and cause further damage if left untreated — so it’s important to address these issues as soon as possible. Dr. Amy knows there is no one-size-fits-all plan for success, and she partners with patients to identify their unique treatment goals and personal values. Using these goals as a guide, Amy uses her doctorate training in manual (hands-on) therapy and exercise prescription to treat patients with a wide variety of medical challenges and histories throughout the Maple Valley, Black Diamond and Covington areas. Dr. Amy is also a wife to a Boeing superstar/former C-130 navigator. While they lived in Germany, Dr. Amy was able to volunteer with the US Army to treat military personnel and civilians on base. She has two beautiful teenage ballerinas who keep her on her toes and educate her on all things ballet! Bailey, the princess pup, is her running partner and her napping partner. In the spare moments in between, Amy enjoys reading, yoga, wine with friends, Pilates, and walking on the beach.
Dr. Amy Konvalin

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