Physiotherapy for women with stress urinary incontinence

This review article was intended to expose physiotherapists to a physiotherapy assessment of stress urinary incontinence (SUI) and the treatment and possibly preventive roles that they might play for women with SUI. In particular, the objective of this article is to provide an understanding of pelvic floor muscle function and the implications that this function has for physiotherapy treatment by reviewing articles published in this area. A range of databases was searched to identify articles that address physiotherapy for SUI, including the Cochrane Library, Medline, and CINAHL. Based on the articles identified in the scan of the databases, greater improvements in SUI occur when women receive a supervised exercise program of at least three months. The effectiveness of physiotherapy treatment is increased if the exercise program is based on some principles, such as intensity, duration, resembling functional task, and the position in which the exercise for pelvic floor muscles is performed. Biofeedback and electrical stimulation could be clinically useful and acceptable modalities for some women with SUI as well.

The study reached the conclusion that the plan for physiotherapy care should be customized for each patient and include standard physiotherapy interventions.