Incontinence is a very common problem faced by people across the lifespan and is particularly common amongst women. Unfortunately, it can often be an issue which is ignored or left unchecked as it can be embarrassing, it can hold you back from activities you enjoy- but it is largely treatable! MNC Physio Director Aaron Hardaker caught up with Sarah Brown, physiotherapist with a special interest in Women’s Health, to find out more.

Tell us a bit about your background Sarah?
I grew up in Forster, on the Mid North Coast of NSW and always wanted to work in a field where I could help people achieve a better quality of life- so Physiotherapy was a great fit! After studying at Newcastle Uni, I have been working around the Coffs Coast and have completed ongoing advanced training in Women’s Health Physiotherapy. I’m really passionate about achieving great health outcomes for women and am looking forward to improving the quality of life for women in the area. I am consistently hearing unhappy stories from women who’s lives are impacted by incontinence, but it’s something I want to change.

What is incontinence?
Incontinence is any involuntary or accidental loss of urine from the bladder (urinary incontinence) or any involuntary loss of bowel motion or wind from the bowel. It’s a really common problem, with as many as 1 in 3 women who have ever had a baby experiencing urinary incontinence. This can be due to several factors, including pelvic floor weakness. That’s why good pelvic floor health is so important.

How can physio help?
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that sling between the pubic bone at the front of the pelvis and the tailbone, or coccyx, at the back. These muscles help to control the bladder and the bowel. They also act to support the pelvic organs and therefore prevent pelvic organ prolapse. Like other muscles in the body, the pelvic floor muscles can be made stronger with exercise, which is where physio can help. A thorough assessment can help to work out exactly what is causing your incontinence and then you can begin a suitable exercise and treatment program for your needs. With many people performing pelvic floor exercises incorrectly, it is also really useful to have expert feedback on your technique.

Why should people seek treatment for incontinence?
The simple answer is because it can dramatically affect your quality of life. In many cases, incontinence can be treated or cured, so that you can cough, laugh, run or jump without worrying about leaking. It is also important to have a pelvic floor check before returning to sport after having a baby to ensure that your body is ready to cope with an increase in exercise.

Thanks for sharing Sarah. If you’re a woman dealing with pelvic floor weakness or incontinence, Mid North Coast Physio is offering 5 women FREE Individual Pelvic Floor Pre-Assessments to meet Sarah and discuss your concerns. Call NOW on 1300 273747 to secure an appointment before they are all gone.

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