A girl named Molly came to us after she kept was leaking during tennis. She suffered from urinary incontinence and she was an athlete who played three different sports. Molly was embarrassed and thought there was something wrong with her.
And just like Molly, most of my women’s health patients think they are alone. I know what you are thinking, “I’ve had this problem for years. It can’t possibly get better now.” You might be thinking, “Is it not normal to have to pee 12 times a day?”, What they don’t realize is just how common urinary incontinence is, and just how often we treat this condition. You don’t have to live with this problem.
Incontinence in Female Athletes: What You Should Know
Incontinence is an increasingly common medical condition worldwide. In the US alone, more than 13 million people have been diagnosed with this condition and at least 12 million more are estimated to be undiagnosed patients. Incontinence is particularly common among female athletes, older people, and mothers. Therefore, a deeper understanding of this condition is warranted. So, here we go.
What is Incontinence?
Incontinence is a blanket term that is used to refer to any accidental discharge of urine from the bladder, or the feces or wind from the bowels. If a person suffers from accidental loss of urine, then their condition is called urinary incontinence. Likewise, in the case of bowel incontinence, the condition affects the bowel control, leading to accidental loss of feces or digestive gases.
Causes of Incontinence Amongst Female Athletes
There are a multitude of causes of this condition among people, including age, stress, childbirth, smoking, and many more. However, the prevalent causes of incontinence among female athletes are different and more specific to their profession and lifestyle. These include:
- Weak Pelvic Floor
The pelvic floor can suffer severe damage from injuries, medical conditions, childbirths, and so on. More importantly, rigorous exercising and sometimes, relatively benign exercises like yoga, can also damage the pelvic floor. As a result, they might develop a weak pelvic floor, which is responsible for controlling the urinary bladder movements. Read more about pelvic floor strengthening here.
- Overactive Pelvic Floor
Over activity of the pelvic floor can fatigue its muscles. As a result, they may not properly respond to instructions of contraction and relaxation, thus causing incontinence.
- Weak Inner Core
If you have a strong pelvic floor, then you won’t notice any symptoms of incontinence in your day-to-day life. As long as you have an equally strong inner core, then you won’t suffer from incontinence at all. However, if your inner core is weak, then you might lose control over your bladder during extreme physical stress.
- Diarrhea and Constipation
Both of these causes are usually temporary. Once the underlying medical conditions of these symptoms go away, so does the issue.
How Physical Therapy Can Help!
Incontinence is a curable medical condition that can be treated in a variety of ways. The trick is to discover the underlying cause of the condition in the person.
However, in the case of female athletes, the trigger is usually the same – weak muscles, be it in the pelvic floor or in the inner core. In both of these cases, the best treatment is to strengthen the weak muscles that are responsible for the incontinence. Common treatments include Kegel exercises and inner core exercises. Why are Kegels prescribed? They help with stress, urge incontinence, and improve pelvic floor weakness.
But, without the right supervision, the person can do even more damage to their muscles. A physical therapist is best qualified to come up with a more customized set of exercises and workout regimen to suit the person’s unique condition.
No matter how long you have suffered from incontinence or how bad your condition is, I guarantee you we can help. Imagine what it will feel like to not have to strategize your life based on where the nearest restroom is. Imagine what it will feel like to cough, sneeze or laugh without leaking. Imagine not having to pee 12 times a day. Imagine a better life where you can be more productive at work, have better relationships, have the mental clarity and energy to do what you want to, and to be able to care/provide for your family like you want to. Your incontinence issue is robbing you from that.
I have made it my mission to help as many people as I can get their life back from urinary incontinence. I’m here to tell you that I’ve treated hundreds of women with this condition and I am confident that I can help you too. We helped Molly get back to tennis, running, and soccer without leaking. Molly is living proof that it can be done.
That is why I am offering a $79 discovery exam special for you or someone you love who is suffering from incontinence. This is a one on one session with a licensed therapist who can identify the root cause of your condition, outline a plan for you, give you 3 things you can do immediately to start feeling better, and a quick initial treatment. This offer is for a limited time only, so call my office today at (425) 224-2476.