Stress Urinary Incontinence affects many women throughout the world. Up to 50% of women who exercise experience some sort of bladder leakage. You don't have to have had a baby to get incontinence...and despite the name, it isn't mental stress that is the main cause of problems - it is increased intraabdominal pressure on the pelvic organs that cause problems.
The usual practice is for people to "do their pelvic floor exercises" or "their Kegals"...but if it were as simple as that, we would solve the problem of incontinence...unfortunately it is more dynamic and variable than that.
Part of the problem is that no matter how well you do your pelvic floor contraction, if you are generating pressure against the pelvic floor, you can still create incontinence problems.
Part of what I have developed is a system of doing a breathing-coordinated core contraction and teaching the patient to spread the load around the body (#spreadtheload). In doing so, we can actually decrease the bearing down pressure we put on the pelvic floor (the subject of future research). Also, matching the #tensiontotask helps as well.
But the biggest differences I think are being able to know how hard you should squeeze (most people including physios squeeze too hard)...and TESTING...if you don't test the contraction in a functional movement and compare it to what you normally do, how do you know you have really helped? So while this is a somewhat generic routine, by changing a few variables, we can individualise it to suit nearly everyone...and if it tests poorly, then it may not be for you or it may not be done correctly.
Have a listen to this conversation I had with Jaimee Fleming, a women's health physio from Ottawa. She had been coached by a strength and conditioning coach using the most common cues I hear...my mission is to change this for women...it actually helps guys too.
Please share this around - let's get the message out there!
If you want to really learn how to do this well in different situations and exercises, consider the online course or in-person courses at www.physiodetective.com/courses