Urinary incontinence involves the involuntary leakage of urine due to little or no control of the urinary sphincter. Research done by the American Urological Association shows that between one-third and one-fourth of Americans suffer from urinary incontinence, which is a far larger number than many people realize. While incontinence can affect both men and women, certain risk factors or characteristics can make an individual more likely to experience it.
Who Is At Risk for Incontinence?
Incontinence is most common in women between the ages of 30 and 60. Nearly 30% of women in that age range suffer from incontinence, while less than 5% of men in the same age range experience it. Other risk factors include obesity, smoking, aging, prostate problems, having diabetes, suffering from kidney disease, or having other neurological diseases. If you’re a female who has had a child or multiple children, your risk is increased as well.
Treatment for Incontinence
Some common types of treatment are non-medicinal, such as bladder training (scheduling toilet trips, learning how to delay urination, or urinating twice within a few minutes to ensure emptying of the bladder) and Kegel exercises (particularly for those who experience incontinence use to physical pressure on the bladder). Other extreme measures include medication, medical devices, utilization of a catheter, or surgery. While in absolutely dire situations, those extreme treatment options may be necessary, we suggest another option.
Chiropractic Care for Urinary Incontinence
Since chiropractic is all about optimal body function, a chiropractor is a great person to see when something in your body isn’t working properly. In this case, weakened muscles around your bladder, pelvis, and urinary sphincter are not properly engaged at the right times and are not working the way they should. Most people suffering from urinary incontinence have subluxations in their lumbar or sacral spine, which affect the way their bodies retain and eliminate waste. A Charlotte chiropractor can gently adjust your spine, restoring spinal alignment and optimal function of bodily processes, positively influencing your ability to control your bladder and urinary incontinence.
A Case Study on Chiropractic and Incontinence
A study published in 2012 followed 21 individuals who were suffering from urinary incontinence. Some had only been experiencing problems for 4 months, while others had been dealing with it for as long as 49 years. Patients also reported lower back pain, pelvic pain, and/or associated muscle dysfunction. All but 3 of the individuals wore an incontinence pad regularly.
After receiving gentle spinal adjustments from a chiropractor, every individual saw improvement in symptoms. Seven of the 21 saw considerable improvement and ten of the 21 had their urinary incontinence symptoms resolve completely. Six years after the study was completed, follow-ups confirm that every participants’ improvements remained stable.
Cuthbert, S.C., Rosner, A.L. “Conservative Chiropractic Management of Urinary Incontinence Using Applied Kinesiology: A Retrospective Case-Series Report.” Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 2012 Mar; 11(1): 49-57. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3315873/.
Nordqvist, C. “Urinary Incontinence: Causes, Treatments, and Symptoms.” Medical News Today. www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/165408.php.
“What Is Urinary Incontinence?” Urology Care Foundation. www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/urinary-incontinence.
Zhang, J., Haselden, J., Tepe, R. “A Case Series of Reduced Urinary Incontinence in Elderly Patients Following Chiropractic Manipulation.” Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 2006 Fall; 5(3): 88-91. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2647065/.