Oftentimes we think– or society has ingrained in our brains– that leaking urine because we are a mom or aging woman is normal. And it most definitely is NOT normal!! Yes, it is very common, but you do not need to just give up and wear pads– there are answers!
When we look at the the trunk or your “core”, we see that it is not just your Abs… your core is represented in the picture right below. The top of the canister or “can” is your breathing diaphragm, the back side consists of the spine, spinal muscles and small mutlifidi muscles, the front is the abdominal wall muscles (rectus abdominus, obliques), the bottom is the pelvic floor muscles, and the side walls in the deepest layers are the transverse abdominus!
Lots of muscles! Boom! But you do not need to memorize these, the bigger picture is that you see there is a system…. like a “can” it helps maintain a pressure system, but there is not air, there are organs, connective tissue and fascia, and fatty tissue.
And when we cough, laugh, sneeze, or jump we change the dynamics of this pressure system or the intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) changes. We know that this varies from one person to another and with different types of activities.
A mentor/teacher of mine, Julie Wiebe has come up with a wonderful way of looking at the core and (IAP) in this video here. AND this is a blog with her in an interview on intra-abdominal pressure .
There is a study Julie Wiebe discusses Cobb et al 2005– this study evaluated where pressure increased the most with functional activities, and jumping coughing created the highest IAP.
So if pressure increases does this mean your pelvic floor is too weak to keep in the pee or sometimes poo? No, sometimes you have weakness, but sometimes you may have poor coordination, a prolapse, diastasis recti, muscle performance issues that may be leading to the leaking.
And do you have to live with leaking? NO! You don’t have to live with it because if there is a root cause to your leaking — which there is 100% chance there is…. we need to discovery it so we can help fix it.
You saw I stated there are several reasons to leaking
- Poor timing or coordination of the core muscles
- Diastasis Recti
- Posture or technique of movement
- Power or endurance of pelvic floor muscles
So if you are leaking, and sick of wearing a pad during the day or even during your workouts… know you do not need to leak, and pelvic physical therapy focuses on finding the answers to why you are leaking so that you can stop leaking… Boom!
Here’s a few tips to stop leaking– this is of course guessing what your primary issue is:
- Do NOT hold your breath — make sure to breathe while you jump repeatedly
- EXHALE with EXERTION — make sure you make an audible exhale “shhh” “sss” when you push weight overhead, stand tall out of squat, jump in the air with tuck jumps, star jumps, squat jacks, plank jacks, etc.
- When you feel the urge of leaking or you start to leak– breathe and modify your jump into squats or slow your pace down while jumping as you BREATHE
- SOFT landing will help the whole body absorb the ground reaction force– not just the pelvic floor absorbing it all!
- Bladder and bowel habits CAN play a role so make sure you are hydrated AND you have daily poops that are soft & formed!
If you want to end leaking you can set up a free phone consultation with us here at this link and see what could be a root cause for you.
Cheers to not wearing pads as we age!