Welcome readers! Today I am writing about a very important, but generally private subject among women. The topic is “stress urinary incontinence,” or leaking a little bit of pee when you cough, sneeze or laugh. First of all I would like everyone reading this to know that leaking urine when you cough or sneeze is not normal or something that comes with old age! I have heard so many people say that and it is simply not true.
Incontinence is not something you have to live with. Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles which help to support your bladder at a time of stress is one very good way to prevent urine leaking. Many people do not know this, but physical therapy can help with this issue! See below to see if you fit into this category and how we can help.
How do you know if you fit into this category?
• If you need to wear a pad every day.
• If you leak a small or large amount of urine when you sneeze or cough.
• If you leak urine with running, jumping, or laughing.
How or why does this occur?
• Excessive stretch or stress on the muscles, for example, after child birth.
• Excessive pressure from prolonged stress on the muscles such as running or jumping.
• Weakness in the pelvic floor muscles.
What can be done?
• Most of you out there have heard of the word Kegel, but if you have not I will tell you what it is right now. Basically it is turning on the pelvic floor muscles by squeezing them. The easiest way to think about turning on the proper muscles is squeezing the muscles that stop the flow of urine or that hold back gas.
• Be careful! It is important to understand how to properly perform a Kegel exercises. If you do them incorrectly you can cause other issues such as pain or tension. Or you may notice no change in symptoms because you are working the wrong muscles. A physical therapist that specializes in pelvic health or women’s health can make sure you are properly doing the exercise.
• Seeing a physical therapist for this problem is the most beneficial and best way to find out if you are doing the exercise correctly because they will be able to evaluate your muscle strength and endurance and give you an exercise program specific to you and your symptoms. They will also evaluate you core and hip muscle strength so that the entire inner unit can be addressed for overall proper functioning. (Inner Unit: Pelvic floor, diaphragm, abdominals, lumbar musculature). Seeing a therapist can get you back into doing the things you love without the fear or humiliation of incontinence.
The therapists at the Robbins Rehabilitation- Bethlehem specialize in treating women and men with this diagnosis. So if you need someone to turn to we are here for you! Give us a call at 484-550-7735, or feel free to email me Kelly Fortner at [email protected] if you have any questions.