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The Common Issue No One Is Talking About
Most women accept the occasional instance of urinary incontinence as a fact of life. It comes with the joys of getting older, the privilege of having had babies, and the territory of being a woman. Laughing, sneezing, or twirling the kids around the room can all lead to leaks. And that's just something we all have to live with. Right? Wrong.
Justine Sebade, PT, DPT, is a physical therapist at Pender Community Hospital specializing in women's pelvic issues. And she's on a mission to dispel the myth that urinary incontinence is both an unavoidable annoyance and a problem for only a few.
"Incontinence is extremely common," she says. "Whether it is the female runner who starts to leak 2 miles into a run, the woman who just had a baby, or the 73-year-old who crosses her legs every time she laughs, I want women to know that there are simple solutions to these problems."
Justine says that there are two types of very common incontinence: stress and urge. "Often women present with both," she says. "And it's often a straight forward matter of muscle strengthening. Just like your biceps and triceps, you can't use one muscle without affecting the surrounding muscles and when one is not functioning properly, the other muscles are affected. We help to change that."
Women should not hesitate to speak up if they are experiencing this, says Justine. "Don't be embarrassed," she says. "The lady sitting next to you is probably experiencing the same thing. One call can put you on track to a much better quality of life."
Justine says that she and the team at PCH will develop a progressive plan of care that is case dependent. "These include things like a biofeedback monitor that can detect muscle contractions to provide the patient with real time feedback on her ability to complete a pelvic floor contraction," says Justine. "She can also expect to have an open question and answer session as the conditions related to the pelvic floor can affect quality of life."
Ultimately, says Justine, it's about making women comfortable in their own bodies again. "There's no reason women should have to accept problems like urinary incontinence," she says. "Come to Pender Community Hospital. We can help."
If you are interested about learning more about women's health physical therapy, contact PCH Rehab Services at 402-385-4026 or ask your doctor to make a referral.