Monday, January 23, 2023

How To Strengthen Bladder Control Muscles

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What Foods And Drinks To Avoid

How to strengthen your pelvic floor

While you may want to drink less liquid so you dont have to urinate as often, you should still make sure you stay hydrated. More concentrated urine, usually darker in color, can irritate your bladder and cause more frequent urination.

Other foods and drinks can contribute to OAB symptoms, including:

  • alcohol
  • tea
  • tomato-based foods

You can test which drinks or foods irritate your bladder by eliminating them from your diet. Then reincorporate them one by one every two to three days at a time. Permanently eliminate the particular food or drink that worsens your symptoms.

Find Your Pelvic Floor Muscles

Overactive bladder is one common cause of bladder control problems, especially among women. Doing regular Kegel exercises can help treat this condition. These exercises also called pelvic floor muscle exercises.

Kegel exercises are relatively easy to do. But before you can start, you need to find your pelvic floor muscles. The next time you urinate, try to stop your flow of urine midstream. The muscles you use to do that are your pelvic floor muscles.

Kegel Exercises And Muscle Training

You can also do special pelvic floor exercises, or Kegel exercises, in addition to regular exercise. Kegel exercises strengthen the muscles to minimize involuntary contractions and improve posture. Its also one of the safest behavioral therapies without side effects and complications.

To do Kegel exercises:

  • Try stopping your urine mid-stream when going. The muscles you use are pelvic floor muscles. This is what youll focus on contracting during Kegel exercises.
  • Focus on tightening those muscles when you have an empty bladder. Hold this position for about five seconds at a time. Relax the muscles and then repeat five times. As your muscles get stronger, increase the duration to 10 seconds and 10 repetitions. Perform the exercises 10 or more times a day.
  • Breathe normally when doing these exercises.
  • Avoid squeezing your stomach, thighs, or buttocks instead of your pelvic floor muscles.
  • You can also talk to a physical therapist to see if youre squeezing the right muscles.

    Yes, Kegel exercises works for men, too »

    Also Check: Can A Prolapsed Bladder Cause Nausea

    Should I Do Kegel Exercises

    Many factors, including pregnancy and childbirth, surgery, and getting older, can weaken pelvic floor muscles. If these muscles are weak, you may start to leak small amounts of urine, stool, or gas.

    Kegel exercises strengthen these muscles, helping you to stop these leaks.1,2 Studies suggest that pelvic floor muscle training may also improve sexual function.3,4

    Pelvic floor muscle training can help both women and men. But in some cases, practicing these exercises may not be a good option. Check with your health care professional before you begin.

    Drink Plenty Of Water

    Pelvic Floor Muscles Exercises for Improved Bladder Control

    Drink 6 to 8 glasses of fluid a day unless your doctor advises you otherwise.

    Many people with urinary incontinence avoid drinking fluids, as they feel it causes more problems. However, limiting your fluid intake makes incontinence worse, because it reduces your bladder’s capacity.

    Not drinking enough fluid can also cause constipation or make it worse.

    Find out which are the healthiest drinks.

    Recommended Reading: Sjogren’s Syndrome And Bladder Problems

    What Causes Pelvic Organ Prolapse To Develop In The First Place

    Any health conditions that put stress on the muscles of your pelvic floor, causing them to weaken, can lead to pelvic organ prolapse. These include:

    • Pregnancy and vaginal child birth.
    • Being overweight/weight gain.
    • Surgery in your pelvic area including cesarean section .
    • Genetics some people are born with a higher risk than others to develop weakness in the tissues that support the muscles of the pelvic floor.
    • Natural aging process the muscles of your pelvic floor, as well as muscles in the rectum and anus, naturally weaken with age. Loss of estrogen also weakens muscles in this area.
    • Frequent bouts of sneezing, coughing, laughing.
    • Exercises and contact sports.

    What Can Happen If You Do A Kegel Incorrectly

    Women often incorrectly contract their buttocks or gluteal muscles, or inner thighs, and basically squeeze their thighs together. Many strain and increase their abdominal pressure. Thats not good for two reasons. One, its ineffective. And two, straining results in the opposite effect. Chronic straining is a risk factor for developing and worsening problems like pelvic organ prolapse or stress incontinence.

    Also Check: Non Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer Guidelines

    How To Do Pelvic Floor Exercises

  • You should sit, stand, or lie in a comfortable position with your legs slightly apart.First you need to identify the correct muscles. Tighten and pull up the muscle around the back passage as if you are trying to stop yourself from passing wind. You should be able to feel the muscle move this is the back part of the pelvic floor.
  • Now imagine that you are about to pass water and picture yourself trying to stop the flow of urine. The muscles which you tighten when you are trying to stop passing water are the front parts of the pelvic floor. Slowly tighten and pull up the pelvic floor muscles, from the back towards the front as hard as you can, this is a slow pull up. Hold the squeeze for as long as you can and then relax the muscles. Relax for 3 or 4 seconds before trying another pull-up. Start with doing these 5 times and increase the number gradually .
  • Now pull up the muscles quickly and tightly, and then relax them immediately. These are fast pull-ups. Again, start with doing these 5 times and increase the number gradually .
  • Each time you do a series of slow pull-ups, you might try to hold each pull-up for a little longer. And each time you do a series of fast pull-ups try to do more.

    REPEAT

    However, especially when you first start to perform these exercises correctly, you will need to be able to concentrate fully on doing them so ideally try to set aside a quiet time to do them, they dont take long!

    What Causes The Pelvic Floor To Weaken

    How To Do Kegel Exercises For Bladder Control

    Like other muscles they can be damaged, a long history of constipation can weaken the pelvic floor muscles. They can also become weakened by surgery in the pelvic area. In women, the most common cause of damage to the pelvic floor is the strain and stretching involved in childbirth large babies and the use of forceps can increase this damage. Muscle tearing or episiotomies can cause further damage. A long history of constipation can also weaken the pelvic floor muscles in both men and women.

    In some men, the lower bowel can prolapse through the anal canal and bowel control can be affected. In women, weak pelvic floor muscles may lead to prolapse of one or more of the pelvic floor organs the bladder, womb or bowel. A prolapse is when these organs are not correctly supported and they start to push down against the vaginal walls. Symptoms of a prolapse can include a bulging or heavy dragging sensation in the vagina, pain or discomfort during intercourse.

    You May Like: Ways To Control Your Bladder

    Exercises For Men With Prostate Problems Or An Overactive Bladder

    Symptoms of prostate problems and overactive bladder

    Prostate problems and overactive bladder are very different conditions. But for men, both can cause frequent and sudden urges to urinate.

    While this can be annoying and embarrassing, it can be treated.

    In addition to medical remedies, a variety of exercises can help reduce the number of times you feel the sudden urge to go to the bathroom.

    The prostate is about the size of a walnut. It surrounds the urethra, which carries urine from the bladder.

    As men age, their prostates often enlarge. This puts pressure on their urethras.

    An enlarged prostate is also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia . The condition can contribute to an urge to urinate frequently, or the feeling that you may still have to go after youve finished urinating.

    How To Do Kegel Exercises

    Once you know what the movement feels like, do Kegel exercises 3 times a day:

    • Make sure your bladder is empty, then sit or lie down.
    • Tighten your pelvic floor muscles. Hold tight and count 3 to 5 seconds.
    • Relax the muscles and count 3 to 5 seconds.
    • Repeat 10 times, 3 times a day .

    Breathe deeply and relax your body when you are doing these exercises. Make sure you are not tightening your stomach, thigh, buttock, or chest muscles.

    After 4 to 6 weeks, you should feel better and have fewer symptoms. Keep doing the exercises, but do not increase how many you do. Overdoing it can lead to straining when you urinate or move your bowels.

    Some notes of caution:

    • Once you learn how to do them, do not practice Kegel exercises at the same time you are urinating more than twice a month. Doing the exercises while you are urinating can weaken your pelvic floor muscles over time or cause damage to bladder and kidneys.
    • In women, doing Kegel exercises incorrectly or with too much force may cause vaginal muscles to tighten too much. This can cause pain during sexual intercourse.
    • Incontinence will return if you stop doing these exercises. Once you start doing them, you may need to do them for the rest of your life.
    • It may take several months for your incontinence to lessen once you start doing these exercises.

    Recommended Reading: Why Do I Get Frequent Bladder Infections

    Tips To Get Your Bladder Under Control

    Take control of your bladder

    Do you find yourself struggling to make it to the bathroom in time? Urinary incontinence is a common condition. Your doctor can help you understand whats causing it and recommend a treatment plan.

    Lifestyle changes can also help get your bladder under control. Learn about six steps you can take to reduce your risk of accidents and help you get back to enjoying everyday activities, leak-free.

    Isolating Your Bladder Muscles

    KEGEL EXERCISES

    Before you can perform bladder control exercises, its important to understand where your pelvic floor muscles are on your body and how to isolate them.

    To isolate your pelvic floor muscles, here are some tips. Find somewhere comfortable to lay down on your back or sit in a relaxed position. Imagine that you are emptying your bladder. You should feel your pelvic floor muscles relax. Now imagine that you have to suddenly stop urine flow. You should be able to feel your pelvic floor muscles tighten as if you are actually holding back urine.

    If youre still unsure about which muscles are part of your pelvic floor and which are not, here are some guidelines:

    • When you tighten your pelvic floor muscles, you shouldnt feel tightening in your legs. If your thighs or buttocks tighten as you are trying to isolate your pelvic floor, this is unassociated with your bladder muscles.
    • Your stomach muscles are also unassociated with your pelvic floor muscles.
    • While contracting the pelvic floor, you should be able to breathe easily. If you stop breathing, hold your breath, or are gasping for air, chances are youre contracting the wrong muscles.
    • The genitals, urethra, tailbone, and anus are part of the pelvic floor.

    Read Also: How To Prevent Bladder Infections In The Elderly

    Do You Recommend Them To All Your Patients

    They are pretty much beneficial for all patients. There are very rare situations when theyre not recommended, such as in patients with urinary retention problems. They have incomplete bladder emptying, so you dont want them to further strengthen their pelvic floor muscles and possibly worsen their bladder emptying.

    Add To Your Daily Routine

    Do your pelvic exercises at least three times a day. Every day, try to do the exercises in three positions: lying down, sitting, and standing. Using all three positions makes the muscles strongest. Keep a daily journal or exercise log to record each time you do the exercises.

    Heres a sample daily exercise schedule.

    • Do a set of exercises in the morning, while making breakfast.
    • Fit in another set in the afternoon, while sitting at your desk or driving.
    • End with a third set in the evening, while lying in bed.

    Be patient. Don’t give up. It’s just 5 minutes, three times a day. Like any exercise routine, it can take a little time to build up muscle strength and conditioning. You may not feel your bladder control improve until after 3 to 6 weeks.

    Dont overdo it. Keep doing the exercises, but dont increase how many you do. Overdoing the exercises can lead to straining when you urinate or move your bowels.

    Read Also: Vitamin D And Bladder Problems

    Kegel Exercises For Your Pelvic Muscles

    Kegel exercises strengthen the muscles under the uterus, bladder, and bowel . At the bottom of your pelvis are layers of muscles known as your pelvic floor. They are shaped like a hammock and connect to the front, back, and sides of your pelvic bone. Your pelvic muscles support the bladder, rectum, and sexual organs. They hold them in place and help control the flow of urine.

    For women, pregnancy and childbirth can weaken the pelvic muscles. For men, prostate surgery can weaken the pelvic muscles. Your risk also increases as you age and if you are overweight. Brain and nerve disorders can also lead to problems with urine leakage or bowel control.

    Weak pelvic muscles can cause you to leak urine. Luckily, Kegel exercises can strengthen your pelvic muscles and help you regain bladder control.

    How To Do Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercise

    Physical Therapy Bladder Control Exercises for Men

    Once you can feel your pelvic floor muscles working, you can start exercising them:

    • Pelvic floor muscle exercises can be done anywhere while sitting, standing or lying down.
    • Squeeze and draw in the muscles around your anus and vagina at the same time. Lift them UP inside. You should have a sense of lift each time you squeeze your pelvic floor muscles. Try to hold them strong and tight as you count to 8. Now, let them go and relax. You should have a distinct feeling of letting go. If you cant hold for 8, just hold for as long as you can.
    • Repeat squeeze and lift and let go. It is best to rest for about 8 seconds in between each lift up of the muscles.
    • Repeat this squeeze and lift as many times as you can, up to a limit of 8 to 10 squeezes. This equals one set.
    • Try to do three sets of 8 to 10 squeezes each day.

    While doing pelvic floor muscle training:

    • keep breathing

    Recommended Reading: Icd 10 Code For Overactive Bladder

    Reclining Bound Angle Pose

    • Remain on the floor, but remove your yoga block, while keeping your knees bent.
    • Inhale and slowly spread your knees, dropping them to the floor on the sides.
    • Exhale while slowly bringing your knees together and lifting your pelvis off the floor.
    • Contract your pelvic muscles.
    • Release them and return to the floor.

    Exercises Your Leaky Bladder Wants You To Do

    There are exercises for your butt, your legs, your arms, your spare tire, even your ever-texting achy thumbs. So considering the bladder itself is a muscleand it’s surrounded by other musclesit makes sense that you can whip that puppy into shape, too.

    Of course, unless you already have the occasional leakage due to aging, genetics, or childbirth, you might not focus much exercise attention on your bladder. But strengthening those down-there muscles can stop so-called stress incontinence in its tracks, says Candace Howe, MD, a board-certified ob-gyn in private practice in Newport Beach, California. “Who wants to undergo surgery?” Howe says. “I’m a surgeon, and I tell my patients I wouldn’t want to! If we can fix incontinence with exercise, that’s preferable.”

    When Suzanne Andrews, host of Functional Fitness, was experiencing urinary incontinence after the birth of her son, her doctor told her to consider surgery. As an occupational therapy clinician, Suzanne was seeing patients with the same symptoms and realized her exercise background could help. She created the 30 Day Bladder Fix, a pelvic floor strengthening DVD that combines seated and lying-down exercises to help control incontinence. “I remember the day I realized I didn’t have it anymore,” Andrews says. “I sneezed and nothing came out!”

    Read Also: Can Bladder Infection Heal On Its Own

    Do Regular Kegel Exercises

    Once you find your pelvic floor muscles, you can complete regular Kegel exercises to strengthen them. Simply contract your pelvic floor muscles, hold them for five to ten seconds, and relax them. The Urology Care Foundation suggests that you complete at least two sessions of Kegel exercises per day. Up to 30 contractions per session.

    The Squeeze & Release

    Complete Bladder Training Guide For Urinary Incontinence

    The squeeze and release is your secret weapon towards getting your pelvic muscles to respond quickly. This can be very helpful for stopping leaks in pinch!To squeeze and release:

    • Sit or stand in a comfortable position and think of the muscles used to control your urine flow.
    • Squeeze your pelvic muscles as quickly as possible and rapidly release them with no attempt to hold the position.
    • Take a rest for 5 to 10 seconds.
    • Repeat contracting your pelvic muscles for 10 to 20 reps.
    • Perform this exercise 3 times throughout the day.

    Don’t Miss: Will Overactive Bladder Go Away

    Who Could Benefit From Pelvic Floor Exercises

    People who have faecal incontinence or bowel leakage may be helped by doing some specific exercises for the sphincter and pelvic floor muscles. These exercises could help improve the strength of the sphincter and pelvic floor muscles and improve bowel control. Talk to your healthcare professional before doing these exercises to see whether they could help you.

    Pelvic Floor Exercises can help both men and women gain more control over bowel movements. These exercises are also used for men and women with bladder control problems.

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