Pelvic health is a crucial part of our general health, but it is overlooked most of the time. When pelvic health is neglected, it can result in conditions such as urinary incontinence. Plans have been designed to ensure that people’s pelvic health is taken care of. One of the commonly used training is the pelvic floor exercise. When these exercises are done under the instructions of a qualified physical therapy instructor, they can eliminate the problems associated with urinary incontinence.
Urinary incontinence refers to the unintentional passing of urine. This condition makes people pass urine when they do not want to. The control over the urinary sphincter is either weakened or lost. Urinary incontinence is a common problem than what many people might realize. Although it strikes men and women alike, women are the ones who tend to be affected the most.
Although there are several kinds of urinary incontinence, the most common ones are two:
•Stress incontinence: People with this condition pass urine when their bladder is under pressure like when they are coughing or laughing.
•Urge incontinence: This condition makes a person’s urine leak when under intense pressure to pass urine.
Some people are known to experience both types of urinary incontinence. Stress incontinence is usually as a result of weakened muscles that are used to control urination, such as the urethral sphincter and the pelvic floor muscles. Urge incontinence is as a consequence of the detrusor muscles being overactive. These muscles control the bladder. Some conditions can increase the chances of a person getting the urinary incontinence such as pregnancy, vaginal birth, obesity, family history and old age.
These anti-incontinence exercises do focus on the pelvic floor muscles. These are the muscles that hold the bladder in place, and they are also commonly referred to as levator ani muscles. The weakening of these pelvic floor muscles often results in the bladder moving out of its normal position in the abdominal cavity, something that leads to stress-induced incontinence.
Pelvic health can be enhanced by the creation of greater awareness and control of the muscles through a repetitive contraction. These exercises are known as kegals, and they involve a voluntary contraction of the urinary sphincter. These voluntary contractions are aimed at tightening and toning the pelvic tissues that have become weak.
It is better to start exercising the levator ani muscles when a person is still young. In younger individuals, it is easier to identify and appropriately control these groups of muscles. In the elderly, it becomes somehow trying to detect and corrects these muscles without assistance. Most seniors require the assistance of a trained physical therapy professional.
These exercises are mainly done by lifting up or drawing in the levator ani muscles. This practice is done daily by utilizing the processes of defecation and urination. Those who are performing these exercises should avoid contracting their buttock, abdominal or inner thigh muscles. These exercises can be practiced by trying to stop urine flow, squeezing the anal sphincter the same way a person does while trying to prevent gas, or tightening the muscles that are located around the vagina.
While performing the exercises, an individual is advised to try squeezing around five times in a row, each time holding the squeeze for five seconds. It should be repeated every hour. Within a short period, it becomes easier for a person to increase the duration and also the intensity of the squeeze. Contracting the abdominal muscles should be avoided because it can be detrimental to a person’s health. For best results, these exercises should be done on a daily basis for not less than four months. If the results are not noticeable after this period, it is important to consult a doctor for a complete medical examination.
In case you are experiencing problems that are related to urinary incontinence, it is recommended that you visit a physical therapist who will be able to provide you with a viable solution without risking your health. Although you may feel ashamed talking to someone else regarding the symptoms of incontinence, it is recommended that you talk to a physical therapist. A visit to a therapist is always the first step toward finding a permanent solution that will effectively manage the problem.