Sitting In Chair Halts Urinary Incontinence?

Pulsating BTL Emsella protocol strengthens pelvic muscles, improves bladder control.

The daughter of a western Nebraska wheat farmer, a young Melinda* traveled with some friends to Valentine, Nebraska, seeking work. She found a position as a legal secretary to the county attorney for Cherry County, of which Valentine is the county seat.

She also met her husband, Nathan, there.

“I worked for the county attorney for about four years, then I got married,” says Melinda, now 83. “When I gave birth to our first child in 1960, I decided to stay at home with the baby. I had two more children after that.”

Eventually, Nathan and Melinda relocated from Nebraska to Colorado. The move was precipitated by the weather — and the landscape.

“It’s warmer in Colorado during the winter than it is in north central Nebraska,” Nathan reveals. “And the mountains were calling. We became fans of the mountains. We skied and motorcycled and did a lot of activities in the mountains.”

Alas, the couple eventually wearied of Colorado’s winters and began snowbirding to Florida. Even today, they spend the summers in Colorado and winters on Sanibel Island.

Recently, Melinda also wearied of wearing heavy duty absorbency pads to protect against urinary incontinence, a sudden loss of urine that cannot
be controlled.

“It’s been going on for years,” Melinda says of the condition. “I experienced leakage almost any time I coughed or sneezed or anything like that. On a scale of one to 10, the problem was a 10. I had to wear thick pads and had to change them quite often during the day.”

Melinda attributes her incontinence to childbirth.

“I wasn’t incontinent before I had children,” she insists.

Finally, Nathan and Melinda sought help for Melinda’s condition.

Douglas H. Joyce, DO, FACOS, FACPh, is a board-certified cardiovascular surgeon at Joyce Vein & Aesthetic Institute in Punta Gorda. In addition to treating venous disease, Dr. Joyce also provides therapies to shape and strengthen the abdominal core while also strengthening the muscles of the pelvic floor. These therapies include treatment for urinary incontinence.

“We initially visited Dr. Joyce for treatment of venous disease in Melinda’s lower legs,” Nathan relates. “While we were there, I saw that he treats incontinence, so I asked him about it.”

Building the Pelvic Floor

“The pelvic floor muscles are an underappreciated part of our musculature that serve as a major foundation for the body,” Dr. Joyce contends. “They are extremely important because they support the pelvic organ as well as our posture.

“In women, childbirth can weaken the pelvic floor muscles. Men can experience bladder leakage following prostate removal. And in everybody, the pelvic floor muscles can weaken with age. It’s very important for men and women to perform routine Kegel exercises, which strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and help prevent incontinence.”

For those who do develop urinary incontinence there is help, a noninvasive treatment called the BTL Emsella® chair.

“The Emsella chair is just that, a chair that patients sit on in their street clothes; they don’t have to wear a gown,” Dr. Joyce describes. “They simply sit there. They can read a book or magazine during treatment, which takes about 28 minutes. Our protocol is two treatments per week for three weeks, so six treatments total.”

The Emsella chair uses high-intensity electromagnetic frequencies to stimulate the pelvic floor muscles and strengthen them. The frequencies induce deep pelvic floor muscle contractions, which are the equivalent of doing 15,000 to 20,000 Kegel exercises. In comparison, people are typically instructed by their health care providers to perform three to five sets of eight to 10 Kegels daily.

“There’s no way people can do 15,000 Kegel exercises on their own,” Dr. Joyce maintains. “But this chair does it for them. Ultimately, it improves bladder control, reduces incontinence and enhances quality of life.

“What’s more, treatment with the Emsella chair is not painful or uncomfortable, and there’s no residual sensation afterward. It’s a great addition to our practice.”

Treatment Success

Melinda completed all the recommended treatments in Dr. Joyce’s Emsella chair protocol. Afterward, she noticed a significant decrease in the severity of her incontinence.

“I underwent six treatments. It didn’t take the problem away totally because I still have some incontinence, but it’s not bad at all now,” she reports. “I still wear a pad but just a lightweight one instead of the heavy duty pads I used to wear.

“On a scale of one to 10, my problem is about a five now, down from a 10, so I’m pretty happy with my results. I’ll be happier when there’s not a drop of incontinence.”

With more control over her bladder and less leakage, Melinda can better enjoy her morning walks and card games with friends. She also likes going to the beach and doing other outdoor activities.

Dr. Joyce notes that results vary from patient to patient and the treatment may be repeated to increase its effectiveness.

Melinda says her visits to Joyce Vein & Aesthetic Institute were a positive experience.

“I really like Dr. Joyce,” she raves. “He’s very knowledgeable, and he’s a good doctor. Also, his staff is very good. I highly recommend Dr. Joyce and his treatment to anyone suffering with incontinence.”

© FHCN article by Patti DiPanfilo. Photo courtesy of Joyce Vein & Aesthetic Institute.
*Patient’s name changed at her request.
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