The Truth and The Solution About Incontinence

what is urinary incontinence

“Urinary incontinence” is a technical term for leaking urine by accident. It is a common condition in more elderly demographics, especially elderly women, although it can happen to anyone for a number of reasons. Fortunately, urinary incontinence can be controlled and/or cured with the help of physical therapy. If you have been struggling with urinary incontinence and you are looking for help, contact First State Rehab today to schedule an appointment with one of our dedicated physical therapists.

Why am I experiencing urinary incontinence?

There are several reasons why someone may leak urine despite their control. Some short-term urinary incontinence may develop and disappear on its own due to a temporary condition, such as a urinary tract infection, vaginal infection, or constipation. Certain medications can even cause temporary bladder control problems that should clear up after use. However, if your urinary incontinence persists, it may be due to a larger underlying condition, such as:

  • Weak bladder muscles
  • Overactive bladder muscles
  • Damaged bladder nerves, typically from diseases such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, or Parkinson’s
  • Blockage from an enlarged prostate
  • Difficulty getting to the bathroom in time, due to diseases such as arthritis
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Prostatitis
  • Benign prostate hyperplasia
  • Damaged pelvic floor nerves, due to injury or surgery

In addition to the different ways in which urinary incontinence can be caused, there are also different types of urinary incontinence that can occur. The different types of urinary incontinence include:


  • Stress incontinence. Stress incontinence is caused when one experiences a urine leak due to due to pressure on the bladder. For example, stress incontinence can occur when exercising, lifting heavy objects, laughing, coughing, or sneezing. This is the most common type of bladder control problem in younger to middle-aged women, and it may occur around the time of menopause.
  • Urge incontinence. Urge incontinence is caused when there is a sudden and emergent need to urinate. Someone experiencing urge incontinence may not have enough time to make it to the toilet before leakage occurs. This type of bladder control problems is usually a result of diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or stroke.
  • Overflow incontinence. Overflow incontinence is caused by a bladder that is always full, thus causing leakage to occur. For example, if a man has an enlarged prostate that is blocking his urethra, it can be difficult to empty the bladder. Other conditions, such as diabetes and spinal cord injuries, can also cause this type of bladder control problem.
  • Functional incontinence. Functional incontinence is caused when people have a condition that makes it hard to move to the bathroom quickly enough before leakage occurs. People with functional incontinence actually have normal bladder control; however, they have an alternative condition (such as arthritis) that makes it difficult to move and thus results in leakage if they cannot make it to the toilet in time.


First State Rehab at Home provides in-home physical therapy and rehabilitation for patients located in Wilmington, DE, and surrounding areas. We help patients restore their independence, regain strength, improve mobility, and sustain their health long-term. If you, or someone you love is struggling with urinary incontinence and your wondering if physical therapy will help, schedule your 15-minute phone consultation with our experts today, please call us at 302-304-9729, or schedule online by clicking here.

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