The Truth About Urinary Incontinence | Physical Therapy for everyBODY
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The Truth About Urinary Incontinence


Ladies, have you ever been at a party and had to run to the bathroom so you didn’t pee when you were laughing? Or do you have to “pad up” before you go to the trampoline park or bouncy house with your kids?

Many women believe that the involuntary loss of urine when they are laughing, coughing, or sneezing is “normal” especially after you have kids. Although I admit that it happens to many women after childbirth that doesn’t make it normal.

Every tissue in your body is designed to heal itself as long as it is moving correctly. This includes the pelvic floor, internal organs, and the pelvic ring which includes the Sacroiliac Joints (SIJ).

Today we are going to tackle this sensitive topic that so many women don’t want to discuss with their friends, family, loved ones, and even their medical providers. We will start by discussing the different types of urinary incontinence so you can understand what is causing your urinary incontinence and then we will answer the top Frequently Asked Questions we hear in the clinic all the time.

What Is Urinary Incontinece?

Urinary incontinence is a condition that is characterized by the involuntary loss of urine, significantly impacting one’s quality of life. It is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is a condition that brings with it feelings of guilt and shame which causes people to not seek help and treatment early on.

Many women we see here at Physical Therapy for everyBODY have suffered for years with progressing urinary incontinence. But, they were too embarrassed to seek help until they were having to limit the activities they love to do because of fear of not having a toilet close by or having an embarrassing accident.

Are There Different Types of Urinary Incontinence?

Yes, there are five different types of urinary incontinence and your symptoms can progress over time.

Stress Incontinence

Stress incontinence occurs when there is increased bladder, leading to the leakage of urine. This can happen during activities such as laughing, sneezing, or exercising. Tight pelvic floor muscles are often a contributing factor.

Urge Incontinence 

Urge incontinence is often diagnosed as an overactive bladder because it involves a sudden, intense urge to urinate followed by an involuntary loss of urine. The bladder muscle contracts inappropriately, causing an urgent need to urinate even if the bladder is not full. This can be caused by increased pressure on the bladder due to tightening of the fascia that holds the bladder in the abdominal cavity.

Overflow Incontinence

Overflow incontinence occurs when the bladder doesn’t empty completely, leading to frequent or constant dribbling of urine. It is often associated with conditions that obstruct urine flow. The most common contributing factor is tension in the pelvic floor that does not allow urine to pass freely.

Functional Incontinence

Functional incontinence is not directly related to bladder or urinary tract problems but is a result of physical or cognitive impairments that make it difficult for an individual to reach the bathroom in time. Most commonly seen in older women who are having hip and low back stiffness that make it difficult to get out of a chair and walk to the bathroom.

Mixed Incontinence

Some individuals may experience a combination of different types of incontinence. The most common combination is stress and urge incontinence.

Is Urinary Incontinence Permanent?

The permanence of urinary incontinence depends on its underlying cause. Often urinary incontinence is a symptoms rather that a permanent condition. Addressing the root cause can significantly improve or resolve the incontinence.

That’s why the top recommendation is to seek help as soon as you notice a pattern of urinary incontinence. The earlier you find and treat the root cause, the quicker your symptoms will resolve. Due to the sensitive nature of this problem many people wait months or years to seek help and treatment. This delay causes longer healing times overall.

Why Does Urinary Incontinence Happen?

The causes of urinary incontinence are diverse and there may be many contributing factors. There are also many misconceptions regarding women’s bodies that we will try to clear up here.

Pregnancy and Childbirth

Many women have been told that it is normal to have stress incontinence after bearing children. The part that is not clearly explained is the timeline associated with that. Yes, urinary incontinence may be normal in the first 6-12 weeks as your body heals itself from the changes and pressure of carrying a baby.

After 12 weeks, your body should have healed and your incontinence symptoms resolved. Therefore, if you are further than 3 months postpartum you need to seek help for your symptoms.


It is a common misconception that the pelvic floor naturally gets weak as you age. The truth is that the tissues that make up the pelvic floor do change as we go through menopause. These changes can cause a tightening of the pelvic floor muscles that decrease their capacity to hold urine and support the core of the body.

However, seeking help from a Specialist Physical Therapist can help your body learn how to adapt to these changes. Your Specialist can also teach you how to decrease stress on the pelvic floor musculature to mitigate the impact of aging on urinary incontinence.


Let’s face it – menopause changes everything! The hormonal changes that occur during menopause have a cascading effect throughout our bodies. Finding a Specialist who understands the hormonal changes that are occurring and how they affect the tissues in your body is critical to finding healing during this time.

Will Urinary Incontinence Go Away?

Your prognosis depends on a variety of factors including type, severity, and the root cause. It is critical to work with a Specialist you can trust to understand your healing path, what treatment will be involved, and how long the healing process will take for your body.

Finding a Specialist you can trust is the first step in this process. With urinary incontinence, you must have a relationship with your Specialist where you can be completely honest and open. You also need to feel empowered to get your questions fully answered because this area of the body is complex and may not be one you understand very well.

This is why we offer a Free Discovery Visit. During this visit, you will get to talk with your Specialist one-on-one. You will get to tell about your journey with urinary incontinence as well as get your questions answered. There is no treatment during this visit so some questions we may not be able to answer specifically to you at the Discovery Visit. But, if we agree that we are a good fit for what you are looking for then we can talk about what next steps look like.

If you have been struggling with urinary incontinence for more than a month then we encourage you to schedule a Free Discovery Visit with one of our Specialists. The longer you wait to get help, the longer the healing process will take.

Other Free Resources To Help With Urinary Incontinence

Download our free urinary incontinence report.

Read our blog – 3 exercises you must try to overcome stress incontinence

Read our blog – 5 common health issues for women

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

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.
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