Current Urology Reports

, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 457–464

Update on Behavioral and Physical Therapies for Incontinence and Overactive Bladder: The Role of Pelvic Floor Muscle Training

Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms and Voiding Dysfunction (G Badlani and H Goldman, Section Editors)

DOI: 10.1007/s11934-013-0358-1

Cite this article as:
Burgio, K.L. Curr Urol Rep (2013) 14: 457. doi:10.1007/s11934-013-0358-1


Behavioral and physical therapies have been used for many years to treat incontinence and overactive bladder (OAB). This paper focuses on programs that include pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) as a component in treatment for women or men. PFMT was long used almost exclusively for treatment of stress incontinence. When it became evident that voluntary pelvic floor muscle contraction can be used to control bladder function, PFMT was also integrated into the treatment of urge incontinence and OAB as part of a broader behavioral urge suppression strategy. PFMT has evolved over decades, both as a behavioral therapy and a physical therapy, combining principles from behavioral science, nursing, and muscle physiology into a widely recommended conservative treatment. The collective literature indicates that PFMT is effective for incontinence, as well as urgency, frequency, and nocturia. It can be combined with all other treatment modalities and holds potential for prevention of bladder symptoms.


Pelvic floor muscle trainingBehavioral treatmentPhysical therapyBiofeedbackBehavioral medicineCombination therapyUrinary incontinenceOveractive bladderPelvic floor disordersUrgencyUrinary frequencyNocturiaLower urinary tract symptoms

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York (outside the USA) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA
  2. 2.Birmingham/Atlanta Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center, Department of Veterans AffairsBirminghamUSA
  3. 3.BirminghamUSA