Treatment

Why biofeedback would help this problem: The muscles of the pelvic floor (including those controlling the anus and urinary sphincters) can become weakened due to overall loss of conditioning with age, stretching during delivery, etc. These muscle may be in fine shape but they may have to resist more pressure than they can handle during a cough or jump. Many people do not have a good sense of when the actually have to urinate or defecate and are either fooled by sensations which are just warnings or miss the warnings entirely. Most people tense the wrong muscles when they are trying to avoid leaking. Biofeedback sensors inserted into the vaginal canal or anus or taped to the pelvic floor can easily pick-up these signals so people can learn to recognize them by watching the biofeedback display and relating the changes in the display to sensations in their bodies. Pressure sensors (which look like tiny balloons) can both pick up the signals and simulate them so the signals can be produced on demand. Muscle tension biofeedback used in combination with Kegal exercises and other forms of home practice help the person strengthen the muscles and contract only the correct muscles when they should be contracted. This same methodology can be used to help patients recognize when they need to have a bowel movement and to relax the appropriate muscles in the appropriate sequence when ready.

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