More than 25 million American adults experience urinary incontinence, the accidental leak or loss of urine. Urinary incontinence can have a big impact on a person’s quality of life and can result in people restricting their social activities. It can lead to low self-esteem, depression, isolation, and anxiety, while complications of urinary incontinence can include skin problems, skin infections, rashes, and sores.
There are a number of treatment options available when it comes to urinary incontinence. These include medications, therapy, surgery, and exercises. There are a number of different causes of urinary incontinence, including pelvic floor dysfunction.
In this blog post, we will take a closer look at urinary incontinence and how good pelvic health care can help you overcome this issue. We will also highlight effective pelvic floor exercises you can perform. Let’s get started.
What Is Urinary Incontinence?
As noted above, urinary incontinence is a health condition that occurs when a person loses control of their bladder. It may result in leaking some urine or a complete emptying of the bladder’s contents. Depending on the cause, urinary incontinence may be temporary or chronic.
Women are around twice as likely to be affected by urinary incontinence as men, though it can affect anyone. Older people are also more likely to have urinary incontinence, given that, as we age, the muscles that support the bladder tend to weaken.
There are a number of different types of urinary incontinence. A person may experience more than one type at the same time. These include:
- Urge incontinence
- Stress incontinence
- Overflow incontinence
- Functional incontinence
Stress incontinence, for example, is triggered by certain types of physical activity, while urge incontinence occurs when a person loses control of their bladder following a strong urge to urinate. In the case of overflow incontinence, also known as dribbling, this can occur if a person does not completely empty their bladder while urinating.
Functional incontinence occurs as a result of mental or physical barriers preventing a person from making it to the bathroom in time. Examples of barriers can include neurological issues, cognitive issues, and muscular issues.
What Is Pelvic Health?
When we speak of pelvic health, we are referring to the best possible management and functioning of the bladder, as well as the reproductive organs and the bowel. Pelvic health plays a big role in a person’s mental, physical, sexual, and social well-being.
Pelvic health also highlights the study and treatment of disorders that impact the pelvic floor. This refers to the muscles, ligaments, and connective tissues that support the pelvic organs, including the bladder, prostate (for men), vagina and uterus (for women), and rectum.
What Is Pelvic Health Dysfunction?
Pelvic floor dysfunction occurs when there is either not enough tension on the pelvic floor muscles or not enough. This can lead to urinary incontinence as well as issues such as pain during intercourse, constipation, and pain in the pelvic region.
As many as 25% of women may experience pelvic floor disorders (including up to 50% of women over the age of 80 years). It is estimated that around 16% of men are affected by pelvic health dysfunction.
Exercises to Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor
As noted above, there are a number of different treatment options available if a person experienced urinary incontinence. These include a range of exercises designed to strengthen the pelvic floor. Let’s take a look at some of the best exercises you can perform for better pelvic health.
Quick Flick Kegels
To perform quick flick kegels, start by lying on the floor with your feet and knees flat on the floor. Over time, you can experiment by performing it while standing or sitting.
Next, find your pelvic floor muscles (the muscles you use to stop the flow of urine while emptying your bladder). Then, exhale and pull your navel towards your spine and begin contracting and relaxing your pelvic floor muscles.
You should aim to contract these muscles for one second before releasing, while maintaining steady, regular breathing throughout. Repeat this movement 10 times before resting for 10 seconds. Aim to perform two to three sets.
Also known as marches, this exercise is designed to increase a person’s core strength and encourage pelvic floor contractions. To start, lie on the floor, bend your knees, and put your pelvis in a neutral position.
Next, start to inhale into your rib cage, exhaling through your mouth, allowing your ribs to naturally compress. Draw your pelvic floor upwards and tighten your core, then lift one leg up to a tabletop position before slowly lowering it. Repeat this movement with your other leg and continue alternating for 15 to 20 repetitions in total.
This exercise is designed to encourage pelvic floor contractions. It works to target the deep abdominal muscles. The starting position for this exercise is the exact same as toe taps.
When you draw your pelvic floor upward and tighten your core, slide your left heel away from you. Only go as far as you can without losing your connection to your deep core, then inhale and bring the leg back to the starting position. Alternative the leg and perform a total of 15 to 20 repetitions.
Overcoming Pelvic Floor Issues
If you are worried about your pelvic health or a condition such as urinary incontinence, it’s important to consult with a medical professional. For quality healthcare, AO Multispecalist Clinic is your premier choice.
Schedule a visit today and speak with one of our experienced and qualified medical professionals. Click here to contact us.