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Kegel Exercises – An Effective Way To Combat Urinary Incontinence

Kegel ExercisesDo you experience urine leakage while you are coughing, laughing, or performing any strenuous physical activity? Does the leakage happen without any desire to urinate? If yes, then chances are that you may be suffering from urinary incontinence. Urinary incontinence is a condition where a person cannot control urination and risks wetting their garments. This happens because the pelvic floor muscles that support your pelvic organs have weakened. The condition is much more common than you think. Around 1.5 million Canadians suffer from this problem. The good news is that you can reduce and even eliminate these problems using Kegel exercises. Let’s know more about kegel exercises and how it can help combat the embarrassing issue:

Kegel Exercises and Who Needs It

Pelvic floor muscles can be weakened due to a variety of reasons. Pregnancy, childbirth, surgery, aging, excessive physical strain, obesity, and chronic coughing are some of the reasons behind weakened pelvic floor muscles. Since these muscles lose their strength, the bladder fails to hold the urine which results in leakage. This leakage may range from a few drops to heavy urination. Kegel exercises help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which support the bladder, uterus, small intestine, and rectum. 

These exercises are meant for those –

- Who suffer a few drops of urine leakage while sneezing, coughing, or laughing 

- Who has a strong, sudden urge to urinate before losing a large amount of urine

- Who suffer from fecal incontinence (stool leakage)

If you suffer a small amount of urine leakage due to full bladder or heavy urine leakage due to sneezing, coughing, or laughing, then the exercise may not be helpful.

Kegel Exercises – How to Perform

These exercises are typically contraction and relaxation techniques that help tighten your pelvic floor muscles. Here is a step by step process of kegel exercises:

Identify Your Pelvic Floor Muscles

To do these exercises, you need to first identify the position of your pelvic floor muscles. This can be done by stopping urination midstream. Once you’ve identified them, you can move on to the next step.

Muscle Tightening Techniques

If you have identified the muscles, then tighten them, hold the contraction for five seconds, and then relax them for five seconds. Make sure you do not flex the muscles in your abdomen, buttocks, or thighs. Also, breathe freely while doing the exercise. Try it four to five times in a row, and gradually aim for 10 seconds of contraction and relaxation. 

While you can do it in any position, it is easy to perform this exercise while lying on your back. You can do Kegel exercises daily for good results. 

Depending on the depth of your condition, the results may take weeks or even months to be visible. But, you will see symptoms alleviating as you do the exercises regularly. Performing these exercises under the guidance of a physiotherapist is highly recommended. 

If you have been diagnosed with urinary incontinence and are seeking remedy, then consult our physiotherapists at Emerald Hills today.