Physiotherapy Could Help Urinary Incontinence
Glasgow Caledonian University are going to investigate whether a type of physiotherapy can reduce the occurrence of urinary incontinence
It would involve placing two surface electrodes on a patient’s ankle which would send a pulse to the nerve near the ankle. It is thought that the bladder would also be stimulated, as the nerves that control the bladder are also connected to the tibial nerve at the back of the lower leg.
The full trial, funded by The National Institute for Health Research, will last three years and will involve 500 people who live in care homes, suffering from urinary incontinence. Each treatment will last half an hour for a total of 12 sessions over six weeks. The researchers hope that patients will see an increase in the volume of urine their bladders can hold as well as a decrease in the sudden urge to use the toilet.
Jo Booth, lead study co-ordinator said: "Small, early studies have all indicated that TPTNS is safe and acceptable and that it can help bladder problems. However, we need better quality evidence that it works before we can recommend that it is used for everyday treatment.
"We will also explore with the care home staff the best ways to give this TPTNS treatment in a care home and keep it going in the long term."
At present, patients are provided with pelvic floor exercises to try and strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor, but it is hoped that TPTNS will offer a solution to treating the cause of the problem rather than masking the symptoms.