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Back Pain and Urinary Incontinence

You may or may not have noticed that I’ve taken some time off from blog posts. But I’m back! And I’m ready to educate and share information on pelvic health for all ages, including women and men. I know, you just can’t wait!

You’ve heard me talk about incontinence. It’s the most common reason someone will seek out or be referred to pelvic floor physical therapy. There is a misconception that just elderly women deal with this condition. And yes, it is very common among this population, though I see children, men and women of child-bearing age all the time.

Today though, I want to share a case from one woman who came to see me for urinary incontinence (UI). She is an 84 year old who started with UI one year ago. She reported that it seemed to be worsening over time. Though UI may be common in the elderly, I asked myself, why would she start with it at the age of 83? This was unusual. After discussing her medical history, we correlated that also one year ago, she dealt with a low back episode with sciatica down one leg.

What do you know… During her exam, everything was normal except for tight and tender pelvic floor muscles on the same side that she had her low back and leg pain. This is not a coincidence! You are probably familiar with the body guarding and protecting. So when we have a problem in one area, other areas close by may compensate or tighten to protect. Her tight pelvic floor muscles weren’t resting as they should, so when they needed to contract (such as while sneezing), they couldn’t tighten more and therefore give the support that they needed to the bladder. Leaving her with leakage at the age of 83.

A few good points to draw from…

-People 65+ do not leak urine just because of their age.

-Without an internal pelvic floor exam we would not know the cause to her incontinence. If you are dealing with any type of pelvic condition, including UI or pelvic pain, you need an internal exam by a trained therapist to help you with the best care possible.

-Back, hip and pelvic floor conditions are often related. See someone who specializes in this area in order to have a comprehensive examination to find the cause of your pain.

-Often times people start medication for their UI and it’s not always necessary. Why not try something conservative first like PT to see if we can return your body back to normal without medications and all the side effects!

See you soon with more facts and tips about pelvic health!