Many health conditions are difficult to directly treat. The only option one has with them is to manage them and live the best they can. Chronic Urine leakage problem or incontinence is one such condition that can be cured by treating the underlying cause, but if not treatable, it not only needs acceptance but also proper management.
Apart from surgical and medicinal approaches a large part of urine incontinence treatment also includes lifestyle changes, exercising and the use of adult incontinence diapers.
Strengthening the Pelvic Region
Specific exercises such as kegel exercises or pelvic floor exercises play an important role in the management of urinary incontinence. According to a study published in Neurology and Urodynamics a few years ago, dancing can not only incorporate the basics of Kegel exercises but also make incontinence management more effective and fun.
The study focused on analyzing the effects of a dance-based video game on women suffering from urine leakage problems. Researchers used an interesting combination of VR rehabilitation (virtual reality) and dance moves that were solely based on the intention of strengthening pelvic floor muscles. It turned out to be a not so traditional form of psychotherapy and also normalized incontinence a little more for these patients, as dancing instantly lightened up their mood. Women who continued following this particular treatment option not only enjoyed it but also found it to be a worthwhile exercise. It improved their bladder control to a significant degree and motivated them further to keep it going.
The majority of participants were pretty happy with the results and showed signs of improvement. They couldn’t imagine that the best way to stop urine leakage could be so much fun!
So, if you have always wished to show your moves, this is your chance! After all, even though urinary incontinence treatment and management are draining and upsetting, it is an essential part of life going ahead. So best to accept it and try to make it fun.
How do Kegel exercises work?
So, we now know how to control urine leakage through kegel exercises. But why do these weird thrusts and squeezes work? Good question! Allow us to explain.
There is a sling of muscles extending from the inside of the pubic bone to the anus woven around the vagina, urethra, and rectum. This group of muscles helps indirectly control the contractions of the bladder muscle and the urethral pressures. Hence, the said exercises relax the muscles to allow urination and tighten to stop the urine. This thereby helps restore muscle function and lessen the symptoms of incontinence.
Like any other exercise, it can be difficult to know whether what you are doing is correct or not. But with proper commitment and dedication, it becomes instinctive.
How to get your Kegels right
Here are a few tips:
Know which muscles - Once you are able to stop your urine flow mid-stream then you have identified your pelvic floor muscles which is the toughest part of the exercise. While you are at it you can even order adult diapers online to manage the incontinence till you are able to control your bladder.
Build a routine - Performing with an empty bladder, your first goal should be to tighten your pelvic floor muscles for five seconds. Then relax for another five and try to do five reps on your first day. As you gain confidence from your new routine, keep increasing the time and repeat the process.
Watch out - Be super careful that you don't flex the wrong set of muscles like the abdomen, thighs, or buttocks and also, don't hold your breath. Breathe freely during the exercises to keep from stressing the rest of your body. However, if you think that you might lose control of your bladder in the process you can order adult diapers online and keep them with you at all times.
Repeat thrice a day - Aim for at least three sets of 10 repetitions per day.
Keep encouraging yourself - Like every other exercise, this one too will feel foreign to your body. But keep it up and your bladder will feel the difference. Don’t feel discouraged if you are not able to control your bladder right away. Simply keep up the routine and use adult diapers till you are able to do so.
Now, we do understand that transitioning from exercise to lose weight or gain muscle to help retrain parts of your body can seem strange at first, but developing an exercise program that engages the entire body will be beneficial for overall health. A well-rounded routine that encompasses muscles, endurance, balance, flexibility and loss of excess weight to reduce or eliminate episodes of incontinence, can be extremely helpful.
One such routine is Yoga.
Yoga for incontinence
Today, Yoga is practised all over the world for a variety of reasons, including breath control and meditation. It not only reduces stress or anxiety but also acts as a good remedy for many health issues or diseases, such as arthritis, migraine, thyroid, and diabetes.
As per a Yoga program conducted for women with incontinence in San Francisco, it has been noticed that Yoga, along with proper training, can lead to a substantial decrement in incontinence episodes among women.
This is because certain yoga poses help to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and attain bladder control. Here are the Yoga poses that can help women with incontinence manage it effectively:
1) Squat Pose
Also known as Malasana, in the squat pose, firstly, you stand with your legs spread wider than the hip distance and turn your toes outward enough to keep them wider than the heels. Now, bend your knees enough to bring your hips lower than them, adjoin your palms, and align your elbows at the backsides of your knees. Secondly, push the elbows into the knees, in order to expose the hips. Thirdly, try to elevate your chest enough to stretch your back and hold it for approximately 30 seconds. Lastly, sit on your bottoms and relax.
2) Triangle Pose
Also known as Trikonasana, this pose requires you to stand with your legs spread wide enough to form a triangle with the floor as the base. Now, you need to turn your right foot 90 degrees and place the right heel in parallel to the centre of the left foot’s arch, followed by deep inhaling. While you exhale, bend to the right from the hips and ensure that your back is straight while you do it. Now, align your right hand downward and point your left hand above. Take deep breaths while retaining this pose and then come up after inhaling. Finally, relax your arms and bring them back to the normal position across your sides and keep your feet straight.
3) Chair Pose
Also known as Utkatasana, in this pose, firstly, you are supposed to stand with your legs facing forward, spread as wide as the hip-width. Secondly, inhale as you move your palms above your head, facing forward, and move your hips downward enough to form the chair pose. Thirdly, transfer your weight down into your heels and move your buttocks downward enough to bring them lower than the knees while pointing them forward. Fourthly, move your shoulders down, make an arch with your spine, and breathe properly for approximately 5 minutes. Now, relax, inhale, and gradually align your legs straight. Lastly, move your arms up as you stretch and exhale, and then align your hands sideways.
So, if you want to manage your incontinence perfectly well, do these yoga poses or Kegel exercises on a regular basis. Along with managing your urine leakage problem, these will also help you reduce the accompanying stress or anxiety to a significant extent, thereby leaving you with a relaxed mind.