I have to admit that I’m of the “computer generation”, so the thought of increasing continence with the help of a computer game really excites me. You may have heard the term “biofeedback” before, but you may not know what it actually is, and you may not know that it can be used for treating incontinence.
Biofeedback is a form of treatment used for many conditions including headaches, rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, and incontinence. The technique converts body functioning into feedback you receive from a machine to train you to control certain functions in your body. Biofeedback is done in a medical office and a small probe is placed in the vagina or anus. The probes sense what your muscles are doing and send a signal to an output device, such as a computer screen. The display on the screen might be something like a colored ball. As you squeeze your pelvic floor muscles the ball becomes brighter or duller. By watching the display you will learn how to do the pelvic floor exercises correctly. Sometimes an audio output is used rather than a computer screen.
With the use of the biofeedback machines, you can learn how to correctly do pelvic floor exercises that will strengthen your entire pelvic area. These exercises can sound simple, but without biofeedback or a physical examination while doing the exercises, many people don’t do them correctly. I’ve heard people say that they’ve been doing the exercises for years with no results, but once they try biofeedback, they suddenly see an increase in their level of continence.
As with any incontinence treatment, biofeedback simply won’t work for some people. To increase the likelihood of it working it’s very important that you follow your physician’s or technician’s advice and instructions. You’ll probably be asked to attend regularly scheduled sessions for a number of weeks. You might not see immediate results, but don’t let that deter you from returning. As with any muscle training program, it will take time. You may also be asked to do “homework” by practicing exercise at home,or by using a home training device.
As with most things in life, what you get out of biofeedback is directly related to what you put into it. Take the time to attend your sessions as directed and actually do your homework. Plus, you’ll get to play a cool computer game AND attain a greater level of continence all at the same time… What a deal!
Published On: July 28, 2006