By Krista Wagner, OTR/L
Question: Is leaking urine a normal part of the aging process?
Answer: Incontinence is an involuntary loss of urine or stool that impacts your daily activities or routines, and is not a normal part of the aging process. Urinary incontinence affects 44-55 percent of females over the age of 65. The most common types of leaking are urge and stress incontinence, and most people experience a combination of both types.
Urge leaking occurs when your bladder muscle starts pushing urine out before you on are the toilet. This uncontrollable urge might be triggered by putting your key into the door after being out shopping, or when hearing running water.
Stress or activity related leaking occurs when your bladder is pushed on by increased abdominal pressure that overpowers the pelvic muscles holding urine in the bladder. Stress leaks may occur during physical activity such as running, jumping, pushing or pulling. Stress leaks can also occur when laughing, coughing or standing up after you have been sitting or lying down.
Rainy Lake Medical’s Therapy and Wellness Center offers an incontinence program that uses a series of exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Strengthening the pelvic floor helps keep the bladder, uterus and bowel supported and improves control of the release of urine and stool. This program is completed with an occupational therapist in a private setting where the patient remains fully dressed.
If incontinence is impacting your daily activities or routines, talk to your primary care provider about a referral to occupational therapy for a no-cost consultation to determine if the incontinence program is right for you. For more information on the incontinence program or therapy services, contact Rainy Lake Medical’s Therapy and Wellness Center at 218.283.5420.