Following the lifting of restrictions by the Government, we would like to reassure all our patients that the way we interact with you will not be changing. All staff and consultants will continue to wear face coverings and maintain social distancing, and we require our patients and visitors to do the same, so that we are all protected.

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Continence & Incontinence Treatment


Oaks Hospital on Essex have a range of non-surgical treatments for bladder and bowel conditions available in the Physiotherapy department, offering a private and sensitive environment for your assessment and ongoing care. 

What is incontinence?

Bladder problems

Many men and women experience incontinence at some time in their lives, with women it is most common following childbirth or during the menopause. There are two main types of urinary (bladder) incontinence: stress incontinence, when the bladder leaks if put under pressure, perhaps during strenuous activity or even with a cough or a sneeze, and urge incontinence, when there is a sudden urgent need to go to the toilet, and in the rush, there is a leakage of urine. Other bladder problems might include urgency and frequency. 

Bowel Problems

The main problems encountered with male and female bowel conditions are incontinence, urgency and constipation.

What non-surgical treatments are available for incontinence?

If your bladder or bowel problem is one that can be treated conservatively, expert help is available from Oaks Hospital’s specialist physiotherapist and can have a central role in treating continence problems and weak pelvic floor muscles. In private and comfortable surroundings and following a detailed assessment, the physiotherapist will teach you exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles as well as any other treatment necessary. These techniques can significantly improve your symptoms and sometimes prevent the need for surgery. 

Oaks Hospital’s Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist treats all types of female and male incontinence problems of the bladder and the bowel and has extensive training in muscle anatomy and how to strengthen the pelvic floor.

Urinary and bowel continence treatments can include:

  • Individual exercise programme
  • Real time ultrasound scanning of the pelvic floor muscles
  • Electrical muscle stimulation to the pelvic muscles if indicated
  • Vaginal cones if indicated
  • Training the bladder to hold more urine and stop urgency (bladder drills/training)
  • Bio-feedback (where we can use sensors to re-educate the muscles)
  • Advice on fluid intake for a healthy bladder
  • Constipation advice

What will happen at my initial appointment?

You do not need a GP referral to book an appointment with our Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist unless you are claiming under medical insurance. Your first visit will last an hour during which an assessment of your condition will be made. A treatment plan will then be worked out tailored specifically to your care to enable you to get better as quickly as possible. Each subsequent treatment session will last approximately 30 minutes. 

Should the clinical specialist feel that physiotherapy is not appropriate, she will advise you on who you should be referred on to at the Oaks Hospital to best treat the condition. 

To find out more information on continence treatments at Oaks Hospital in Colchester in confidence and to make an appointment please contact the Physiotherapy Department on 01206 753 222 or send your enquiry via the online form

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