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Combination therapy more effective for incontinence

Posted Oct 20 2011 6:56pm
Incontinence Accessories and Hygiene

Issue Codes Incontinence Accessories and Hygiene

A new trial suggests that combination therapy for anal incontinence is more effective at dealing with the condition than current treatments.

Publishing their findings in Deutsches Arzteblatt International, researchers conducted a randomised trial designed to compare the effectiveness of different treatments for fecal incontinence, Science Daily reports.

Incontinence pads can help people with the condition to cope with the symptoms; however the research suggested that new methods of treatment could be effective.

Approximately one to two per cent of the population in Germany – where the research was conducted – suffer from anal incontinence, with weakness of pelvic floor muscles accounting for a large proportion of cases. Currently, treatments involve trying to restore control to the muscles responsible for controlling the bowels through targeted training with electrical stimulation.

However, the research suggested that such physical stimulation is not enough to effectively train all of the muscles required for continence. Furthermore, the standard treatment – low-level electric stimulation – can be painful for patients.

Instead, the news provider reports that the authors of the review suggested combination therapy, also known as triple-target treatment. This involves treating the different muscle groups with different levels of stimulation, which is less painful than the low-frequency solution and has also been shown to restore continence in 50 per cent of patients receiving treatment.

Meanwhile, the Association for Continence Advice (ACA) has published new guidance designed to educate teenagers about the importance of exercising their pelvic floors before the symptoms of incontinence appear.

Maintaining a strong pelvic floor not only helps combat faecal incontinence, it can also help people with bladder control as well.

The pelvic floor tends to weaken as people get older, so the ACA hopes that its new advice will encourage more people to start pelvic floor exercises at an earlier age.

Open to all healthcare professionals, the ACA seeks to promote continence and the better management of incontinence.

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