This is an issue for women of all age – not just us more mature women. Often it’s not discussed and women just suffer. This issue is common – but here’s the thing – you don’t have to suffer with it.
Yes I’m talking about leaky bladder – that fact that when you jump up and land you feel like you may leak a little. It’s not the most pleasant of subjects to discuss – but I know that most women that read this will be thinking ‘oh that happens to me’ trampolines are a serious no no – and it doesn’t seem to matter how many times you go for a wee before – it still happens.
Pelvic floor problems can occur when the pelvic floor muscles are stretched, weakened or too tight.
Some people have pelvic floor muscles that are too tight and cannot relax. This might be made worse by doing squeezing exercises and overworking the muscles without learning how to relax. So over doing kegels, not going to the toilet when you need to go and incorrectly performed kegels can also cause a leaky bladder.
What else can cause problems.
1.Not keeping pelvic floor active or over working them incorrectly
being pregnant and having babies
2.Being overweight, obese or having a body mass index (BMI) over
3.Heavy lifting (e.g. at work or the gym)
a chronic cough or sneeze
4. Precious injury to the pelvic region and
so what can we do?
First and foremost, if you are experiencing any pelvic symptoms it is important to visit your GP to rule out any potential medical issues. However, if you think that overactive pelvic floor muscles are to blame, the best thing to do is to begin down training exercises to help relax your pelvic floor. This is just a starter – but if you have issues there is a link at the bottom to more exercises to help.
Down Training Relaxation -This pelvic floor muscle relaxation method known as Down Training teaches the pelvic floor muscles to relax and release.
1. Laying down with a pillow under the knees for 20 minutes a day will help to relax the pelvic floor muscles. Whilst relaxing practice body scanning all over the body, including pelvic area. Recognise where there is increased muscle tension and aim for complete physical relaxation by focusing on the area that is tense.
2. Learning diaphragmatic breathing – Slow diaphragmatic breathing is very important for relaxing the pelvic floor muscles. In yoga you will find this is done regularly.
3. Gentle perineal bulging – this is very gentle bulging of the pelvic floor and should be taught by a pelvic floor physiotherapist it a specialist as bearing down too strongly can actually increase spasm so this must be done gently.
One of the most important things I have read is posture – imagine inside you pelvis is a bowl of water that must not spill back or forward – when that bowl is balanced you are in the correct position and that stops the pelvic floor being put under pressure from incorrect posture. When sitting when standing – just check you are not overloading the pelvic floor muscles.
Visiting specialist physiotherapist or personal trainer that works with pre/post natal issues may be of benefit as well. You don’t have to suffer with this – it’s ok to ask for help.