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A person sitting on a bed holding their back in pain.

Back pain and urinary incontinence, the involuntary leakage of urine, have been found to coexist frequently enough to indicate a clear link between the two conditions. Both men and women with bladder leakage have equal risk for this pattern of conditions.

The findings, published in the scientific journal Physical Therapy, (Relationship Between Back Pain and Urinary Incontinence in the Canadian Population), revealed that having UI more than doubles your risk of having back pain. One possible explanation is that back pain and UI are both associated with altered torso (core) muscle control, and delayed activation of these muscles has been found in individuals with both of these conditions.

The study included a survey of 25,645 adults via the 2011-2012 Statistics Canada Canadian Community Health Survey. The sample was representative of the Canadian population.

Because UI and back pain can have a major impact on the person and society, this study provides strong evidence of the need to further study the link between the two conditions.

Physical therapists are movement experts. They improve quality of life through hands-on care, patient education, and prescribed movement. You can contact a physical therapist directly for an evaluation. To find a physical therapist in your area, visit Find a PT.

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