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Dribble, Dribble? What you can do if you have incontinence.

Have you ever found yourself laughing so hard that you notice some leaking?

Have you ever avoided training at the gym because that’s where you dribble a tiny bit?

The topic of urinary leakage and incontinence can definitely cause some embarrassment for ladies- but you’re not alone.

  • Urinary incontinence affects up to 38% of Australian women (1)

  • Over half of women with this condition are under the age of 50 (2)

  • 70% of people with urinary leakage do not seek treatment for their problem (3, 4)

Incontinence can range in severity from a small leak to complete loss of bladder control and can limit social and recreational activities, and hold you back from doing the things you love to do.

Probably most of you have heard of Kegels and might assume that would be the go-to exercise for all types of incontinence. However, Kegels help to strengthen the pelvic floor, but if your incontinence is caused by muscles that are TOO tight, Kegels may actually be doing more harm than good.

So what’s the exercise that is beneficial for all types of incontinence? Keep reading to find out.

The pelvic floor muscles are part of a team. And when part of the team is broken, the whole team is broken.

The pelvic floor forms the base of the core. The core is also made up of the diaphragm, the abdominal wall, and the back muscles. The core muscles, working in synchrony and harmony, drive all body movement and power.

Doesn’t it only make sense that when it comes to exercising the pelvic floor for incontinence we exercise the entire core? We do ourselves a disservice to only focus on the pelvic floor- we need to involve the entire team!

When you build a house, you need stable walls and a stable floor.

So the number one exercise for all issues related to the pelvic floor is….breathing!

Proper diaphragm breathing.

When we breathe properly, the diaphragm and pelvic floor, which are parallel to each other, descend together, and as we breathe out, they raise together. Diaphragm breathing fills the abdominal cavity with breath and helps to create intra-abdominal pressure to support our posture and movement.

Proper diaphragm breathing also ensures that your rib cage and pelvis are stacked on top of each other. This is also important because when the pelvis is tipped forward, there is an increase in the bladder, which in turn makes it more difficult to hold urine.

So here are the key takeaways:

1) If you’re struggling with leakage and incontinence, you’re not alone. I encourage you to seek treatment.

2) Treatment for incontinence is interdisciplinary- your team of medical doctors, pelvic floor physios, and chiropractors that focus on rehab and core stability training are here to support you. 3) Exercises should be a part of your treatment plan, and your program should include core stability and postural training.

1. Hawthorne G. Measuring Incontinence in Australia. Commonwealth of Australia; 2006.

2. Deloitte Access Economics. The economic impact of incontinence in Australia. The Continence Foundation of Australia; 2011

3. Millard R. The prevalence of urinary incontinence in Australia. Aust. Continence J. 1998;4:92-9.

4. Avery JC, Gill TK, Taylor AW, Stocks NP. Urinary incontinence: severity, perceptions and population prevalence in Australian women. Australian and New Zealand Continence Journal. 2014;20(1):7-13.


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