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Don’t ignore physio-led therapies in tackling female incontinence warning

Pelvic floor muscle exercises can play a key role in the treatment of women with urinary incontinence, the CSP has stressed.

The society was responding to the publication of an updated clinical guideline on the distressing condition by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

This recommends the use of drugs, and procedures such as botox injections and surgery to treat the condition.

In response, the society warns that NHS commissioners should not ignore pre-existing NICE advice, which states that pelvic floor muscle exercises should be used as a ‘first line’ course of treatment.

Ruth ten Hove, CSP professional adviser, also called on the NHS to provide better services and raise people’s awareness on how to access them.

‘The NHS must invest in and raise awareness of services such as self-referral physiotherapy to help us tackle the hidden tragedy of incontinence,’ said Ms ten Hove.

‘There are a range of options available for tackling continence issues but simple measures like pelvic floor muscle exercises must be more heavily promoted.’

The new NICE guideline for England and Wales updates and replaces the original NICE clinical guideline on urinary incontinence, which was published in 2006.

Since then new methods of managing urinary incontinence have become available from the NHS, and the new guideline aims to reflect this.

However, the updated guideline repeats the original recommendation that women with urinary incontinence should be offered ‘supervised pelvic floor muscle training of at least three months’ duration as first-line treatment’.

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