What is overactive bladder?

Overactive bladder is a common medical condition where the bladder muscle contracts too often or spontaneously. This means you could experience a sudden and frequent need to go to the toilet, during the day and night. It can sometimes be difficult to control this urge and may result in some urinary leakage.

1 in 3 people are affected by OAB – so don’t suffer in silence!

Common symptoms

  • increased urinary frequency
  • going to the toilet more than once during the night
  • leaking urine overnight
  • sudden severe need to go to the toilet that’s difficult to control
  • leaking urine during sex

What causes OAB?

Overactive bladder can be caused by a number of factors:

  • a urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • pelvic floor muscle dysfunction
  • neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis can be associated with OAB symptoms
  • medicines – diuretics, phenothiazines and opioids
  • caffeinated, fizzy and alcoholic drinks can exacerbate OAB

OAB is also often found in conjunction with stress urinary incontinence, where people try to manage their stress incontinence with frequent trips to the toilet. This can result in your bladder becoming more used to emptying frequently, reducing your ability to hold onto larger volumes of urine.

How can Physio help?

Your Pelvic Health Physiotherapist will be able to address the symptoms of your OAB through a variety of assessments and treatments:

  • pelvic floor muscle assessment and treatment
  • bladder retraining
  • breath work
  • manual therapy
  • lifestyle changes
  • acupuncture.

Importantly, the right treatment can get you better. A specially trained Pelvic Health Physiotherapist is a great place to start. Following a pelvic floor assessment, they may also refer you to a GP, urologist, gynaecologist or uro-gynaecologist or surgeon. Our Pelvic Health Physiotherapists, Cassie Wiles and Amy Williamson work closely with the consultants at London Women’s Centre and Wellington Hospital.

If you’d like help with OAB you can book an appointment with one of our Pelvic Health Physiotherapists.

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