- Continence -

Physiotherapy for continence - how we can help

Did you know that 1 in 3 women suffer from urinary incontinence at some point in their life? Incontinence can range in severity from ‘just a small leak’ to complete loss of bladder or bowel control. The good news is incontinence can be treated, managed and in many cases can be cured. 

Do I have a continence problem?

If you have bladder or bowel problems, but you’re not sure whether to seek help, consider the following questions: 

  • do you sometimes leak when you cough, sneeze or lift something heavy?
  • do you sometimes leak when you play sport or exercise?
  • do you have to rush to the toilet?
  • are you finding that you need to visit the bathroom more frequently?
  • do you have a hesitant, interrupted or weak stream of urine?
  • do you go to the toilet more than twice during the night?
  • do you feel like you can’t completely empty your bladder?
  • do you have an after-dribble (loss of a small amount of extra urine) after going to the toilet?
  • do you soil your underwear?
  • are you experiencing incontinence after recent gynaecological surgery?
  • have you just had a baby and notice that your bladder is leaking?
  • have you been diagnosed with an overactive bladder or a nerve condition affecting your bladder?


If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have a bladder or bowel control problem, and the good news is that physiotherapy may be able to help.  


There is a common belief that continence problems are inevitable after having a baby or as you age and that it just needs to be tolerated. But advice and support from a physiotherapist, can lead to symptom improvement and even sometimes complete resolution. You can take steps to improve your life and daily routine without needing to wear continence pads or worry about leaking when you are out and about.  

At Active Rehabilitation, we have experienced physiotherapists in the field of women’s health who can help treat the causes of leakage and urgent visits to the toilet. Treatment commonly includes:

  • learning how to activate and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles correctly
  • teaching you good bladder and bowel habits
  • sharing strategies that can help manage leakage
  • developing an exercise program that will help with your bladder and bowel control and improve your general health and wellbeing.

What should I expect from physiotherapy?

Your experienced physiotherapist will assess you, diagnose any problems and help you understand your symptoms. We will work with you to develop a treatment plan that considers your lifestyle, goals, leisure activities and general health.  

To diagnose and treat your continence problems, our specially trained Women’s Health Physiotherapists may: 

  • ask you to keep a short diary on the timing of your symptoms and toileting 
  • assess your pelvic floor muscle strength 
  • create a specifically tailored treatment program with you, which may include: 
  • specific exercises for pelvic floor muscle strengthening and endurance 
  • teaching you good bladder and bowel habits to help you manage your symptoms 
  • providing you with strategies for incontinence management 
  • develop a tailored exercise program to assist you with not only your pelvic floor but your general fitness, health and well-being  

Throughout your journey with us at Active Rehabilitation, we will evaluate your progress at regular intervals and modify your treatment and goals when necessary.  Wherever possible we will also work with you to help you learn to manage your condition independently for the longer term.