'Sensitive' bladder? You need the KNACK!
Here is a simple but very effective pelvic floor exercise you can do anywhere!
Why do we need The Knack?
If we wee a little when we cough or sneeze, we need it. When we sneeze/cough our pelvic floor should work automatically contract to counteract the increased pressure; it helps close the urethra (where your wee comes out) and also helps to support your internal organs.
Get 'The Knack', and help yourself to stay dry.
The Knack can help both men and women with leakage of urine when they cough or sneeze. It is an exercise for the pelvic floor that helps.
- Leaks when coughing
- Helps with downward pressure inside the pelvis
How does it help?
A strong and fully functioning pelvic floor would (when necessary) prevent leakage from the front and back passage. When they don't work, that is when leaks happen. Normally it is an action that we would do automatically (due to the type of muscles around them). When they fail, we leak.
Contrary to popular belief, it's not mainly postnatal mums that suffer from pelvic floor dysfunction. Men, children, and women who have not had babies can also be affected. Also, some pelvic floor surgery, radiation therapy and also have a detrimental effect on pelvic floor health. We need the pelvic floor to work automatically, ad the first sign of need!
When should we do The Knack?
The simple answer is when there might be a downward pressure on the pelvic floor:
- Lifting/moving a heavy object
- Nose blowing
- Getting up from sitting to standing
How to do The Knack - practice makes perfect.
- Sit on the edge of a chair, in good posture.
- Lift and squeeze the muscles of your pelvic floor (all openings)
- Contract all the muscles around the pelvic floor - think of the muscles as lifting up towards your diaphragm
- Keep this contraction and do a small cough
- After, relax your pelvic floor to its normal resting position.
- Progress when ready, to a stronger cough; don't go mad - start small and build up.
- Keep practicing the pelvic floor squeeze throughout the day - about 30 squeezes.
This would be a good start. If you've been on the Uptight n Outta Sight workshop with its creator Cherry Baker, you will know there is more that can be done, but start here.
Pelvic floor weakness can affect everyone - male, female, old and young. The Knack is such a simple exercise to do, and no one knows you are doing it. You will soon see improvements if you keep your practice up.