Continence Conditions - Men, Women and Children

injury-continence-conditionsContinence Conditions Bladder and/or bowel problems can affect men, women and children to varying extents and unnecessarily affect quality of life. Research proves that continence physiotherapy for bladder weakness and pelvic floor muscle strengthening does work and can resolve or prevent these problems.

Female Continence Problems
Incontinence is a problem that affects many women in Australia. It can be as a result of giving birth, vaginal prolapse, high impact exercise, ageing, menopause and other chronic medical conditions. One in three women who have ever had a baby experience urinary incontinence. A thorough assessment should be undertaken to ascertain the condition and appropriate treatment can be implemented.

Children's Continence
The most common form of childhood incontinence is daytime wetting. Night time wetting (nocturnal enuresis) is another form of childhood incontinence and may be caused by physical factors such as low bladder volume, social factors such as toileting "just in case" or a lack of training.

These conditions can be diagnosed through a continence and pelvic floor assessment, and most conditions are easily rectified with appropriate physiotherapy and exercises. Your child does not have to remain embarrassed by this issue.

Male Continence Problems
Men often experience continence issues due to prostate problems or other medical conditions. These difficulties include difficulty initiating urination, faltering flow, incomplete bladder emptying, and increased frequency of urination. A thorough assessment will determine contributing factors and the appropriate treatment can be tailored to retrain the pelvic floor muscles, which can rectify the continence issues.



There are many reasons for bladder and/or bowel dysfunction. These include:

  • pregnancy / childbirth
  • after surgery e.g. prostate and abdominal surgery
  • congenital bowel and bladder dysfunctions
  • obesity
  • effects of ageing
  • chronic cough
  • high impact activity/sport
  • mechanical loading




  • having to go to the toilet frequently
  • uncontrollable urgency to urinate / defecate
  • leaking with exercise, coughing or sneezing
  • having to get up several times a night to go to the toilet



A thorough assessment of the pelvic floor will determine the exact type of pelvic floor dysfunction that you have. The physiotherapist will design an individualised program to improve the strength of the pelvic floor muscles, and resolve or prevent any further continence issues.

Real Time Ultrasound is a scan of the abdomen that enables clients to visualise their pelvic floor muscles contracting. It is able to provide feedback on correct technique. This enables the client to feel confident that they are using muscles correctly as they can see evidence of improvement as treatment progresses.

It is important to realise that if you have a small problem with bladder or bowel control, it will generally get worse unless you treat the condition. "Light Bladder Leakage" is a term which has been created to normalise incontinence and make it socially acceptable. This does not have to be "normal" for you. Continence physiotherapy has the highest level of evidence to support the role of physiotherapy in improving continence with targeted pelvic floor exercises, which are specific to the individual.

Our continence Physiotherapists will be able help assess and treat these conditions (* Services available at Heidelberg, Camberwell and Footscray)