In a word….
Incontinence is partial or complete loss of urinary and/or bowel control. Why is a pilates studio discussing this?!?!? Because, it is a very functional piece of everyday living! We endeavor our client’s functional fitness of the core and pelvic floor to be working cohesively throughout all of life’s stages. Plus, what is more basic and fundamental than having control of your bodily functions?
Bladder control is often an unspoken concern for many. Especially when laughing, sneezing, coughing, crying, engaging in high-impact activities, etc. And who wants to admit one’s bladder control may need attention when you have tears of joy and laughter running down your cheeks? The number of people who suffer from incontinence is over 33 million. With the majority being women. Incontinence is directly linked to the health and tone of the pelvic floor. Did you know that only about 40% of the millions who suffer with this will actually say something to their healthcare provider? In another word….
The pelvic floor acts like a hammock to hold your organs in. These pelvic floor muscles are very important for your health. Kegels are often towted as the be all and end all to pelvic floor issues. But, did you know there are good and bad ways to doing kegels? Its not just about the ability to stop urine flow. Or another example I often see is pressing the bellybutton to the spine which creates pressure in the lower abdominal area. Rather than the lift of the pelvic floor to then support the organs up and into the core.
During pregnancy there is unavoidable change to the entire landscape of the pelvic floor. Even during a normal birth there will be significant change with the stretch of muscles and nerves throughout. All of which is due its proper care before and after childbirth. But, pregnancy isn’t the only cause of pelvic floor lack of tone. Aging, full or partial hysterectomy, or pelvic floor prolapse also significantly affect bladder control in women.
Women are not the only ones. There are many clinical correlations between incontinence and erectile dysfunction and pelvic floor health. Check out this NIH Study that showed 40% of men regaining normal function after 6 months with pelvic floor intervention.
I love when a client tells me their incontinence is better or gone. What a wonderful testament of the continued disciplined work they have done, and how motivating to keep going in the studio. I would like to change the stigma of this silenced pervasive symptom. Let’s alter the course to….
Conversation, understanding, movement, & confidence.
See you in the studio,
P.S. Here is a great starting point, if you would like to learn more regarding bladder health…..National Association for Continence.