Restore Normal Bladder Function Naturally–Holistic Physical Therapy, Integrative Manual Therapy, and Nutritional Wellness
Bladder control is a common issue with men, women, and children. Challenges can range from children bed wetting to mothers with post-childbirth stress incontinence. Older people may have urinary urgency and frequency or difficulty with urination and bladder emptying. Unfortunately, these issues are often kept secret, as many people feel uncomfortable talking about them, even with a doctor. Discreet use of incontinence products is very common. According to the National Association for Continence, more than 17 million Americans experience daily bladder control issues.
Typical interventions, such as bladder lift surgery with mesh implants, are invasive. Many people are also treated with prescription medications. Physical Therapy is sometimes used, including massage, biofeedback, internal techniques, and strengthening with techniques like Kegel exercises to help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. While many of these interventions are widely used to combat bladder control issues, they often provide limited success.
Integrative Manual Therapy (IMT) is a gentle hands-on treatment that is practiced by many Physical Therapists, Massage Therapists, and body workers. During an IMT session, as part of a holistic approach, the therapist follows an assessment protocol to search for underlying causes that could be contributing to the bladder control problem, for example any joint or soft tissue dysfunction that affects the pelvis and bladder. The possible contributors to urination challenges are numerous and can include alignment of the low back and pelvic bones, flexibility of the spine, muscle spasms in the pelvic diaphragm, fascia tension or scarring and nerve function.
The IMT therapist uses gentle techniques on the outside of the body to improve mobility of the sacroiliac joints, the sacrum and the lumbar spine and to relieve muscle spasm and fascial tightness in the pelvis. When the joints are aligned and mobile, and the muscle tone is improved, there is more potential for the bladder to function normally. It is also possible to address bowel issues with a similar assessment process.
In addition to IMT as a tool to restore pelvic health and bladder control, making some basic dietary changes is another option that may help to improve bladder function. When bladder control is an issue, there is the possibility that it is caused by inflammation throughout the pelvic region creating difficulty for the individual organs to function optimally. Pelvic inflammation can lead to multiple challenges including bowel function, PMS and menstrual irregularities and more. By switching to a diet that avoids pro-inflammatory foods, the pelvic inflammation can be reduced. One pro-inflammatory food is gluten, which is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oat. When gluten is ingested, it can increase swelling in the body. Eliminating gluten completely from the diet can promote overall health for some people and help to restore normal bladder function.