What in the world is Interstitial Cystitis (IC)? You may ask this if you are not familiar with the often disabling bladder condition affecting up to 12% of women. Symptoms of IC include a feeling of pain or pressure in the bladder area (whether the bladder is full or not), burning or discomfort in the urinary tract that is not caused by an infection, and urinary frequency or urgency lasting greater than 6 weeks. The true cause of IC is unknown, however it is often related to diet, stress, pelvic floor dysfunction and history of infection, trauma or surgery in the pelvic or abdominal area. Most people are diagnosed with IC when they are in their 30s or 40s, after years of suffering and lack of medical answers. 90% of those diagnosed are women, although this may be a poorly recognized issue in men as well, even misdiagnosed as prostatitis in some cases.
Although this condition sounds scary, and those of you with an IC diagnosis may feel hopeless, there are natural and conservative ways to reduce or eliminate symptoms. These treatments may include dietary modification, physical therapy, and stress reduction. A physical therapist trained in management of this condition will be able to work with your other medical providers to guide you through the process of looking at conservative treatment options. They will help you examine your diet and eliminate bladder irritants, check the health of your pelvic floor and eliminate musculoskeletal problems responsible for pain, offer stress reduction strategies, and help you train your bladder to be comfortable holding urine.
If you are diagnosed with IC or are experiencing any of the symptoms, consider Hope Physical Therapy and Wellness for conservative treatment. If you have questions or aren’t sure if therapy is for you, set up a free phone or on-site consultation. Call today to stop your unnecessary suffering!
Emily J. Ladd, PT, OCS, CSCS, CMTPT
Emily Ladd specializes in pelvic floor disorders and has been guiding patients to wellness for over 20 years.