As a physical therapist and personal trainer, I am well aware of how daunting initiating a new exercise program can be. It is with this in mind that I wanted to break down incontinence control into some simple steps. Try these today and tomorrow—ease your way into a routine that will improve your incontinence symptoms.
Step 1: Find 5 minutes per day to lie on your stomach.
Step 2: While standing in the shower, work your full pelvic range of motion by placing your hands on your hips and rocking your pelvis through extreme flexion and extension. In simple terms, rock your pelvis, tucking your buns under and then sticking your buns out. Repeat 20 times every morning.
Step 3: Directly out of the shower, stand so that you have a side view of your midsection in the mirror and draw your belly button “up and in” and hold for a 5-count. Visualize a string attached from your belly button to your pelvic floor when you do this. Feel your entire pelvic basket draw up and in as you pull your belly button “up and in” 10 times. (Take care not to tuck your buns under on this one and don’t forget to breathe normally!)
Step 4: Sitting in a chair, activate your inner thighs by placing a towel roll between your knees and squeezing for a 3-count. Do 20 repetitions.
Step 5: Sitting in that same chair, directly activate your pelvic floor by performing a 2-step Kegel. This involves tightening your pelvic floor and drawing it up toward your belly button and holding for an 8-count. Repeat this pelvic floor tightening and elevation 8 times.
In the 5 steps that I have listed above, you have the goal of establishing a routine. Within these simple steps you begin to establish a healthy extension of your lower spine. You also begin to activate the muscles that will help to support your bladder control, including your lower back muscles (multifidi), your lower abdominals (transversus abdominus), your inner thighs, and your pelvic floor muscles (levator ani).
I encourage you to take these 5 steps toward better bladder control and allow yourself to establish a routine. If/when you feel you want more direction in an exercise routine, you can gather educational and exercise information at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cEApK3Do2Q&feature=channel . Now is the time for you to take the next step!