Date of Award

1997

Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)

Department

Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Beverly Johnson

Keywords

Urinary Incontinence -- therapy

Abstract

Urinary incontinence (UI), the involuntary loss of urine so severe as to have social and/or hygienic consequences, is becoming a medical diagnosis for which patients are referred to physical therapy. It is estimated that between 10 and 12 million American adults suffer from UI. Conservative treatment including physical therapy is sought for UI because of its superior cure rate compared to surgical intervention.

The purpose of this study is to educate its readers on the types, anatomy, physiology, and conservative treatments of UI. Most importantly, however, is the understanding of how pelvic floor exercises (PFE) with use of mechanical biofeedback decrease UI, enhance patient motivation and provide objective data. Biofeedback provides patient motivation through visual and auditory means. It also helps the essential isolation of the pelvic floor muscles and cues unwanted substitution of muscles.

Awareness of the benefits of conservative treatment will result in an increased number of patients referred to physical therapy. This paper will be a guide for the practicing clinician in the management and treatment of female urinary incontinence.

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