Seems like an odd topic for a physical therapist to bring up, but then I am not your ordinary physical therapist! I see people with bladder issues as a pelvic physical therapist all the time, even if they are coming to me for another problem, such as E.D. back pain or pelvic pain, as they are all related! The pelvic floor muscles control how we pee, poo and have sex. They are the muscles at the bottom of our torso and are suppose to play well with the back and abdominal muscles, but sometimes they argue over who has what job to play in core stability.
One of the tools I use is a bladder log, which tells me a lot about how well these muscles are working together, especially when I relate the log to your symptoms. The bladder log is very simple, and I traditionally have a person do it for 3 days so we can get a good sense of not only how often you pee, but also how much. Don’t worry, you do not have to carry around a urinal with you…..unless that is your thing….you do you….I don’t judge! It is as simple as counting how many seconds it takes for you to pee then write it down on the log sheet. I convert the number of seconds to a volume based on the average flow rate for your age. We also track level of urgency and any leaks.
If your pelvic floor muscles are weak then people may get small leaks when they cough, sneeze, or laugh because the abdominal muscles create more pressure than the pelvic floor muscles can handle, pushing a bit of urine out. If the bladder has also shrunk in size over the years, it may not be holding as much as it should, also overpowering the pelvic floor muscles, causing small leaks. There is a pelvic physical therapy program to retrain the bladder to hold more urine! Do you run to the bathroom at the 1st urge to pee? That could be part of the problem. Bladder log will help uncover that!
There could also be another reason you are leaking. The pelvic floor muscles could be too tight, always working and never taking the time off they should. This can stretch the sphincter from a nice, tight round shape into a more oval shape. When this happens, it cannot stay closed as well, thus allowing some pee (or other) to leak out when you cough, sneeze, or laugh, or get up from a chair. We can teach the muscles to relax with biofeedback plus teach you some easy stretches to get the pelvic floor muscles loosened up a bit. If your neck muscles are too tight and someone comes along and gives you a neck rub, how does that feel? Manual physical therapy does a similar thing. If the muscles are too tight, it is sometimes necessary for someone like me to work with them directly in order to get them to fully relax. This also allows better blood flow into those muscles, allowing them to heal and work normally again.
Most people associate this issue with women, but men, you are NOT out of the woods! How many times do you get up to pee at night? Do you dribble a bit after peeing? You too could benefit from doing a bladder log!
Remember, it can be as easy as starting with a bladder log!
Don’t Suffer in Silence! I am offering free bladder screening. All you have to do is message me. I then send you the blank form, you fill it out for 3 days and send it back to me. I will analyze it and let you know what I see and how to fix it. Easy-peasy!
If you want to learn more, then join me Saturday July 11th at 10am for a Zoom chat where we will explore bladder problems in more detail including how pelvic physical therapy can help! My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call/text 443-742-0019.