Incontinence and Pelvic Floor

 

Urinary incontinence can be due to weak pelvic floor muscles. It is a common problem affecting both women and men during their lifetime. For some it may be small amounts of urine leakage; it could be an inability to control flatulence; it could be urge incontinence where you have to go right now; or it may be stress incontinence whereby you have urine leakage or flatulence with exercise, heavy lifting, coughs, sneezes and laughing.

The pelvic floor muscles support and keep in place the bladder and bowel and uterus. They help maintain bladder and bowel control. Pelvic floor weakness can result in urine leakage or in more severe cases, a proplapse whereby the bladder, uterus or bowel protrudes through the pelvic floor muscles into the vagina. People with pelvic floor weakness can also be prone to frequent bladder infections.

Causes of Incontinence

  • Pregnancy and childbirth can cause a weak pelvic floor, incontinence and proplapse issues. This is a common cause and can affect 1 in 3 women;

  • Straining: Lifting heavy objects, straining during bowel movements, having a long-term condition (asthma, allergies, smoking) that involves coughing or sneezing, or having long-term constipation can damage the muscles of the pelvic floor

  • Long-standing back pain or surgery in the pelvic region;

  • High impact sports: Elite and recreational athletes who run and jump are prone to incontinence;

  • Hormonal changes: Women going through or after menopause can start experiencing incontinence as Estrogen, the hormone that helps maintain the strength and health of pelvic floor muscles, is not produced after menopause.

 

Pelvic Floor Fitness

Although urinary incontinence is a common problem, it is never normal. Everyone has pelvic floor muscles but they are often forgotten about and not used. This results in weakness which can be further worsened with the wrong exercises and using the muscles incorrectly.

Back in Motion runs group sessions and one-on-one sessions to teach people how to use their pelvic floor muscles correctly and strengthen the muscles to control and prevent leakage. They teach you how to exercise correctly and safely.

Incontinence is both a health problem and a social problem. Do not restrict your social life – exercise and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles with back in Motion and get back in control!