How is stress incontinence related to pelvic floor exercises?
What is stress incontinence (SI)?
SI is the most common type of urine incontinence, and occurs when some activities cause a small amount of urine to leak. The majority of people who suffer with that are women but it is worth mentioning that 1 in 9 men might also suffer.
There are several factors that may cause stress incontinence and some of them may be due to physical changes to the body. Things that cause these changes are pregnancy and childbirth, menstruation, weakened muscles around and in the bladder and/or pelvic surgery. Some other things that may contribute to SI are obesity and smoking.
What are the symptoms of SI?
The main symptoms that most women mention is a leakage during times of physical movement and/or intense activity such as running, jumping, heavy lifting or even laughing, sex, coughing and exercise. There is not always stress incontinence when a woman does one of the above, but because increased activity can add pressure to the bladder the chances are higher.
What can you do about SI?
If you suffer with SI, you are not alone! There are a number of things proven to help, with the most common being pelvic floor exercises. The pelvic floor muscles and other tissues are responsible for supporting the bladder. These exercises are commonly known as ‘Kegel’. By improving the pelvic floor strength and after some months of doing the exercises regularly, many women say their symptoms have been decreased. These exercises can be also performed before, during and after the pregnancy.
For a series of 5 Pelvic Floor Exercises prescribed by Physiotherapists, please click here
Challenge yourself by doing the above pelvic floor exercises every day for 30 days and experience the difference. That means for 30 days part of your daily routine will be those exercises, and like any other, how well they work for you depends on whether you perform them regularly.
You can seek physiotherapy advice for assessment and treatment of SI, and for a variety of further video exercises at Central Physio.
Blog compiled by Myrto Stamataki, Physiotherapist at Central Physio