Urinary incontinence is a common complaint in women, with reported rates between 32 and 64%. The two most common types of female urinary incontinence are stress incontinence (involuntary loss of urine on effort or physical exertion, sneezing or coughing) and urgency incontinence (loss of urine associated with urgency). Many women present with a mix of the two. Incontinence can affect quality of life and participation in social activities, especially physical activity.
There are many, many trials that have assessed the effects of pelvic floor exercises. These trials have compared specific pelvic floor muscle retraining with general exercises. The evidence is clear, pelvic floor function can be improved but the exercises have to be specific and very carefully prescribed.
There are so many different reasons a woman may have problems, and there are so many factors that need to be taken into account to ensure the correct exercise is given for the correct reason.
One of the biggest issues we now face is that women are so aware they need to do pelvic exercises that they are trying to overtrain their muscles. This can create a situation where the muscles can become overworked. Possible effects of this can be fatigue, pain (including in the muscles or structures they attach to), or cheating. Cheating is when other muscles try to work to compensate. This can create another whole barrage of problems.
Optimal pelvic floor function is so essential. They are the muscles that hold the inside of the pelvis together. They are the muscles that the whole trunk and its contents rest on. Problems can cause issues all over the place, most notably around the back, pelvis and hips. Getting pelvic floor right can have knock on benefits to everything. At Physiologix, we do not believe women should accept that pelvic floor weakness is ok.
All women can greatly improve their pelvic floor function. A healthy pelvic floor can improve not only quality of life and ability to take part in normal activities, but also can reduce all sorts of problems, pains and injuries through the body. Greater understanding is needed to make sure things are done right.
At Physiologix we have therapists specially trained in womens' health. Physiologix will be running a free seminar on Tuesday 11th February, in conjunction with a gym fitness instructor at the Gap Health and Racquet Club at 7.30 pm. Bookings are essential as numbers are limited. Please email us from the contact us page of this website physiologix.com.au or call us on 3511 1112