Sneeze pee. If we are honest, most of us will admit that this has happened once or twice….you laugh, sneeze, cough, jump, or some other high pressure activity….and you pee yourself. Just a little. (Or a lot.) It’s VERY common, which has led many of us to believe that it’s NORMAL. We accept it as an inevitable part of aging or something that happens once we’ve had children. Incontinence is prevalent among women who have never given birth and in men as well. I experienced sneeze pee in my early twenties before I found Restorative Exercise™. (I’m happy to report that it’s now resolved.) I’ve been talking about urinary incontinence, but you can have fecal incontinence too. I came across this ad in a magazine last week.
The message I have for you today is this: incontinence is not a natural part of human function, and you have the power to change it.
Here are 3 things you can do right now to start improving it:
1) Stop doing kegels. A too tight pelvic floor is at the root of incontinence (and other pelvic floor disorders), and kegels will make this worse. Kegels may help in a short term way, but they are a band aid and don’t address the root cause. You can read why here.
2) Instead of kegels, start squatting. Squatting uses the gluts. Strong gluts pull posterior (back) on the sacrum, which in turn pulls on the pelvic floor, stretching it out to its proper length. It’s good to note that we are often too tight and weak to squat without some preparation. Try these prep exercises to start increasing mobility as you practice squatting. You don’t have to go into a deep, full squat to reap the benefits. Keep your shins vertical (see below) to help you use the gluts and hamstrings (on the back of the thigh) instead of the quads (on the front). Hold onto a door knob or pole if you feel like you are going to fall over backwards.
3) Exercises are great, but you will see changes MUCH faster if you change your habits too. Read Fast Fixes for Pelvic Floor Disorder to learn some simple lifestyle changes you can make.
If you are dealing with incontinence or any other pelvic floor disorder (and live in Middle Tennessee), you may want to attend the Pelvic Floor Workshop at Blooma Nashville this Saturday, September 19. This class will use a combination of lecture and exercise to help women understand the mechanical causes of pain and disease and give them practical tools for change. Participants will learn corrective exercises and lifestyle modifications to heal and prevent common ailments.
This class is for any woman who has experienced (or would like to prevent):
Pelvic organ prolapse
Hip, knee, back and pelvic pain
High blood pressure
SI joint pain
A cesarean section (a pelvis that was “too small” or a baby that was stuck/breach/posterior)
Pelvic floor trauma
If you can’t make the workshop, consider a private session. We can work together to get rid these painful and embarrassing issues!