It’s finally April! The birds are chirping and the flowers are blooming. Spring has sprung and the warmer weather is right around the corner. Now that is April, with that comes the dreaded “April Showers.”
Even though there might be some rain and poor weather coming our way this month, one “shower” you do NOT have to deal with anymore is urinary leakage!
Yes, you heard that right. You do not have to deal with urinary leakage.
It can actually be addressed, managed, and often times eliminated altogether. Stick with me and I will give you all the things you need to know if you are experiencing urinary leakage or incontinence.
Recently I had a patient say to me, “I just pee a little when I sneeze but that’s normal so I’m okay” and my jaw just dropped. It is shocking to me that leaking urine has become something that has been so normalized when in reality it is FAR from “normal!”
"I am here to give you the inside scoop"….
It is actually NEVER normal to pee your pants, no matter your age, gender, race, weight, postpartum or prenatal…. and the list goes on and on. Your pelvic floor muscles are actually supposed to hold in urine so you are not peeing all over yourself when you cough, sneeze, exercise, or even while you are on the way to the bathroom.
This is something that often gets brushed under the rug in our healthcare system, but there are people out there who care about this issue and want to help you.
A lot of it has to do with the lack of education that women and men get in their younger years but also with the stigma around urinary leakage that it is something that you need to hide and do not want to seek help for.
But seeking help is the first step with moving in the direction towards a leak-free life.
I remember when I was growing up, my Mom would never jump on the trampoline with my sister and I. It was always something that made me curious, but I thought, maybe she just did not like jumping or didn’t want to hurt herself.
One day I got up the courage and asked her why she never wanted to jump with us, and she flat out told me that she couldn’t because she would pee her pants if she did!
I was in shock…. I thought once you were potty trained, you did not have to worry about peeing yourself, but I realized that is not always the case.
So, at a very young age that really stuck with me. It made me believe that it was normal or okay to leak urine because that is what Mom went through and what her Mom went through, and on and on.
BUT I am here to tell you that there is a SOLUTION to this problem, and it is called Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy!
Physical Therapy for everything you are dealing with below the waist.
Before we dive into what pelvic floor PT actually is and what it can do for you, let’s talk about the different kinds of leakage and incontinence that you can experience so that you have ALL the information about what could be going on with your body.
Let’s jump right in and start with the basics.
Incontinence technically means the lack of voluntary control over urination. Basically, you are unable to hold in urine when you need to if you are experiencing incontinence.
Here are a few different types of incontinence that you could experience:
The most common form of urinary incontinence is Stress Incontinence. Stress incontinence happens when your body, to put it simply, is under stress and you leak urine.
So that means you may find yourself leaking when you are exercising (running, jumping, etc.), coughing, sneezing, laughing, lifting heavy objects, during intercourse, or during other body movements that put pressure on the bladder.
The second most common form is Urge Incontinence. This most often happens when you have a sudden urge to urinate when you were not expecting it or when you just went to the restroom.
You can even have this urge when on the way to the toilet, when you hear running water, or when you turn your key into your door at home. This type can often take over your life and will make you feel like you need to urinate an excessive number of times a day.
Another form of incontinence that is not seen as often but can often be overlooked is called Overflow Incontinence. This form of leakage occurs when you are unable to empty your bladder completely and more urine than normal is still left in the bladder.
This leads to what is called “overflow” where urine leaks unexpectedly and can cause a constant dribbling without any sensation of leaking.
Last but not least is what is called Mixed Incontinence. This type of incontinence is a mixture of both urge and stress incontinence and you may present with symptoms of both types.
You could have a strong urge to urinate often but also leak when you are putting more pressure on your body and bladder.
Any of these types ring a bell?
Are you experiencing any of these types of incontinence?
No matter how small you may think your issues are, they can always be addressed.
So now that we know the basics about what urinary incontinence is and all the different types, let’s talk about what you can do about it if you find that one of the above scenarios describes what is going on with your body.
Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy is here to help you navigate the ins and outs of your urinary leakage. At Breakaway Physical Therapy, our therapists are highly skilled and trained to treat all the muscles of the pelvic floor. And yes, you heard that right!
Your pelvic floor is a group of muscles that form a sling along the base of your pelvis. Just like any other muscle in your body, they can be retrained, and often strengthened to help decrease and eliminate urinary incontinence.
Many things can be going on with your pelvic floor muscles that you never knew about such as:
….and so much more!
So, if you are curious about what’s going on in those muscles below your waist then, you are in the right place!
One common mistake that patients make is thinking that because they are leaking their pelvic floor muscles are “weak” and therefore need to be strengthened by doing kegels, but that isn’t always the case.
Sometimes our pelvic floor muscles can actually be too tense, and they need to be relaxed for them to work properly. Think about it, if your muscles are too tight to begin with, then when you need them to contract and hold in urine, they actually cannot contract any further to help prevent leakage.
It’s pretty simple, but it’s something that you probably have never thought about or even heard of.
All of this is to say that if you are dealing with urinary leakage, seek out the help of a pelvic floor physical therapist. You can actually be causing more harm to your pelvic floor without even knowing it!
Once you begin pelvic floor PT, your physical therapist will be able to assess your pelvic floor muscles, explain to you what is actually going on, and really give you step-by-step instructions for how to solve your leakage issues.
Remember, every person is different, every single body is different. It is not always a one size fits all recipe when it comes to urinary leakage, so ask for help if you need it.
If you want to take back your life and get rid of your urinary leakage, then Breakaway Physical Therapy may be just the place for you. We offer FREE consultations for patients to make sure that we are a good fit for you and to get you more prepared for what to expect with pelvic floor physical therapy in general.
These consultations can be in person, via ZOOM, or just a quick phone call to discuss everything that you have been dealing with. We are ready to listen to all of your concerns and hear about what is going on with YOU!
So please call us today at 410-721-6333 to schedule your consultation with one of our highly trained and skilled pelvic floor physical therapists.
And if you have already made the leap and booked your initial pelvic floor evaluation with us, check out this blog HERE https://www.breakawaypt.com/pelvic-floor-pt-what/ about what to expect on your first visit with us. It can often be intimidating, but here is some more information to put your mind at ease.
We are so excited to join along side you on your journey to getting back control of your body, gaining your independence back, and enjoying a leak-free life!