Physical therapist treats incontinenceMay 6, 2015
For more than a decade, a Cliffside Park woman has spent a great amount of time checking out the location of the closest bathroom when she’s out in public, wearing adult diapers — just in case — and believing that urinary frequency and urgency had just become part of her life. Then she met Raynetta Samuels, a physical therapist at Holy Name Medical Center, while accompanying her husband to his physical therapy sessions.
"It was just a fluke — I asked what she specialized in and she said pelvic floor therapy and I told her I needed to see her," said Laura, who asked that her real name not be used. "I was skeptical at first but she is just amazing. Actually, the results have been shockingly good — I felt better in a week or two."
Raynetta Samuels, PT, DPT, CLT, is a women’s health physical therapist, specializing in pelvic floor muscle problems. Although she works with all types of patients needing physical therapy, she is an expert in providing relief from urinary incontinence with non-surgical, non-invasive methods.
"We really need to raise awareness about these conditions because no one talks about them — many women are embarrassed," Samuels said. "But often, this easy treatment will cure their symptoms."
About 20 million women nationwide endure urinary conditions that leave them in pain, with urinary frequency and urgency, and bedwetting. Many, like Laura, who is in her early 70’s, have had worsening symptoms for more than a decade.
Most often, the condition in women is caused by weak pelvic floor muscles, which can be strengthened with quick, easy-to-do exercises such as Kegels (pretend you’re trying to stop the flow of urine). Sluggish core muscles also contribute to urinary problems and are addressed with physical therapy. At Holy Name, each woman is evaluated and given a plan tailored to meet her needs.
"What people need to understand is that they don’t have to live with these conditions," Samuels said. "I’ve had women who said they’ve been dealing with this for 20 and 30 years and now they’re symptom-free."