PT: “Do you ever struggle with leaking urine?”
Patient: “Nope.....Well... only a little when I sneeze… or squat heavy...but nothing abnormal.”
Sound familiar? This is a conversation I have been having almost daily with patients at the clinic. So, it’s become worthy of an entire blog post ;-)
Let's just put it right out there--
Leaking is NOT NORMAL.
But still NOT NORMAL!
Read that again.
It’s time to take control over your pelvic floor and learn how to fix it.
What’s the pelvic floor?
To keep it simple, the pelvic floor is a sling of muscles that sits inside your pelvis at the base of your core. These muscles provide stability to the trunk, pelvis and hips, and also control the flow of urine and bowels. When the pelvic floor is contracted, it prevents the flow of urine, and when relaxed allows you to pee. Sometimes, it accidentally relaxes and you pee when you don’t mean to...
Leaking (AKA urinary incontinence) is a sign that your pelvic floor isn’t completely doing it’s job. Maybe it’s muscle weakness, poor motor control or coordination (or a combination). Either way, if you are leaking, it is an indication that your pelvic floor and core muscles aren’t able to properly manage the load from whatever activity is causing your symptoms. Common times it may happen are when coughing, sneezing, running, squatting or jumping.
Learning how to properly engage the pelvic floor and core muscles are key to solving this problem. Here's how to perform abdominal bracing:
Believe it or not, this simple contraction holds the key to you not peeing your pants anymore. Before you cough or sneeze, I want you to brace first, then sneeze. Or before your squat heavy- brace first, then lift. Whatever it is that may be causing your symptoms… BRACE FIRST!
It might take you a little while to get this down, but eventually it will become second nature and you will able to do it without thinking so hard everytime. Just practice, practice, practice!
The goal is to start slow and controlled, and then eventually start progressing towards more high impact activities like running and jumping. But you MUST build a solid base first. Here are a few exercises to help you build strength and work towards higher level movements. Just make sure you are able to properly perform that deep pelvic floor and abdominal bracing technique throughout each movement before you start progressing!
Interested in learning more??
Schedule a PT visit for personalized programing to help you be most successful!!