Do you have an overactive bladder that has repeatedly put you in an embarrassing situation? Does the loss of bladder control now become a huge health problem and social issue for you? Well, you are not alone.
According to studies, almost 70% of the population experiences temporary to chronic urinary incontinence. This condition can occur at any age but most patients diagnosed are women in their 50s to 70s.
The loss of bladder control may seem like a harmless condition compared to other types of life-threatening diseases. But when left untreated, it can lead to severe complications in the urinary system, all the while affecting one’s mental and social well-being.
Fortunately, several conservative approaches can treat urinary incontinence, one of which is acupuncture. Below is an in-depth discussion on the health effects of incontinence and how acupuncture can treat this prevalent problem.
What Is Urinary Incontinence?
Urinary incontinence (UI) refers to a health condition characterized by the loss of bladder control. In simple terms, a person with urinary incontinence has an overactive bladder that causes the involuntary loss of urine. It can range from simple urine leaking accidents when you cough to a strong urge to urinate to the point of not making it to the bathroom in time.
Normally, the bladder and the sphincter muscles in the urethra will hold the urine back to avoid leakage. When you’re ready to urinate, the brain will signal these muscles to open, forcing the urine out of the body.
But individuals with an overactive bladder don’t have enough control over their pelvic muscles, causing involuntary urination.
Urinary incontinence is not a disease in itself. It is only the effect of an underlying medical disorder or a symptom of a condition. Generally, there are four types of incontinence depending on what causes it:
This type of UI happens due to stress or pressure in the body, causing sudden muscle contractions in the bladder. Some activities that put pressure on the bladder include exercise, heavy lifting, coughing, and sneezing. Additionally, stress incontinence may be the cause of UI during pregnancy and childbirth.
This type of UI is characterized by the hyperactivity of the bladder muscles, causing you to feel the urge to urinate even when the bladder is not full yet. This is the most likely the cause of urinary incontinence in menopausal women and men with prostate problems.
Additionally, urge incontinence can occur in people with a specific underlying condition, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, stroke, and multiple sclerosis.
In this type of incontinence, the body makes urine more than the bladder can handle or store.
This is a combination of stress-related and urge incontinence.
What Are the Benefits of Acupuncture for Urinary Incontinence?
Studies suggest that over 80% of individuals with UI do not seek treatment due to the stigma and economic burden. As a result, patients with incontinence are also diagnosed with social isolation, insomnia, and deteriorated mental well-being.
Traditional treatment for urinary incontinence involves behavioral therapies, medications, and surgery. However, there’s a high discontinuation rate due to the prescribed drugs’ financial cost and adverse effects.
Fortunately, there’s another safe and effective alternative treatment for UI, and that’s acupuncture. Here are just some of the benefits of undergoing acupuncture and how it can increase your quality of life despite an overactive bladder.
Acupuncture Is An Effective Treatment Against UI
According to research, medical acupuncture can help treat urinary incontinence by stimulating the acupoints in the lower abdomen (CV6, CV3, CV4, CV12, etc.) This can help soothe the overactive bladder by inhibiting a specific bladder receptor (capsaicin-sensitive C-fiber).
Stimulating these acupoints can also strengthen the bladder and sphincter muscles, thus increasing control in the urethra.
Furthermore, acupuncture can aid in improving the specific medical condition causing the UI, such as prostate hyperplasia. According to studies, sacral acupuncture can manage the symptoms and improve the conditions of an enlarged prostate, thus preventing urinary leakage.
Acupuncture Does Not Have Adverse Effects
Health experts from the U.S. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine state that acupuncture is a reasonable and low-risk treatment approach for UI. This traditional Chinese medicine in Gainesville, FL, has little to no adverse effects, especially in the hands of a professional acupuncturist.
On the contrary, traditional medications for urinary incontinence (Duloxetine) has significant health effects, such as insomnia, nausea, vomiting, and headaches. As a result, many people discontinue such treatment approaches due to their long-term side effects and lack of efficacy.
Acupuncture Improves Your Overall Health
Patients with urinary incontinence also deal with the embarrassment and social humiliation caused by their condition. As a result, people with UI can also develop insomnia, social anxiety, stress, and depression.
Fortunately, acupuncture can help treat mental disorders by stimulating the release of endorphins or “happy hormones”. Moreover, it also improves sleep quality by increasing the melatonin in the body一a hormone that promotes sleep and relaxation.
Is Acupuncture A Safe Treatment Option?
Yes. Acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment approach when performed correctly. So, it’s crucial to book a session with an active professional acupuncturist to reap all of its health benefits. Additionally, it’s important to talk and be transparent with your practitioner regarding your medical history and health condition.
Get Relief from Urinary Incontinence Through Acupuncture in Gainesville
Restore your health by eliminating urinary incontinence safely through the help of the expert acupuncturists at Guan Physical Therapy and Acupuncture.
We specialize in bringing world-class treatment options without the life-threatening adverse effects of medications. Our professional practitioners have years of expertise in treating urinary incontinence and other medical conditions, such as:
- Knee pain
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Digestive problem
- Women’s health problems
- Neurological problems
- Stress-related conditions
- And more!
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.