Living with urinary incontinence can be challenging, affecting not only one's physical well-being but also their emotional and social life. Remember, there are 3 main things to consider when someone is experiencing urinary leakage or incontinence.
We will look at all 3, but let's focus on each one separately. (check out the links for the other blog posts)
While there are various factors contributing to accidental peeing, an often overlooked aspect is the significant influence of breathing. In this blog post, we'll explore the intricate connection between breathing and urinary incontinence, shedding light on how conscious breathing techniques can be a breath of relief for those struggling with this common (but not normal) problem.
Understanding Urinary Incontinence:
Urinary incontinence is more than just an inconvenience; it can impact one's quality of life. From stress incontinence triggered by physical activities like coughing or sneezing to urge incontinence characterized by a sudden, intense need to urinate, this condition can manifest in various ways. To address the issue comprehensively, it's crucial to delve into the intricate relationship between breathing and urinary continence.
The Breath-Bladder Connection:
The diaphragm, a dome-shaped muscle located beneath the lungs, plays a crucial role in both breathing and maintaining urinary continence. When we breathe in, the diaphragm contracts and moves downward, creating a vacuum that allows the lungs to fill with air. Simultaneously, the pelvic floor muscles, which support the bladder and other pelvic organs, should contract to prevent unintentional leakage.
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Breathing and Pelvic Floor Coordination:
Proper coordination between the diaphragm and pelvic floor muscles is essential for maintaining continence. Unfortunately, many individuals inadvertently develop dysfunctional breathing patterns that can exacerbate urinary incontinence. Shallow chest breathing, common in times of stress, may lead to increased pressure on the pelvic floor, compromising its ability to function optimally.
Breathing Techniques for Urinary Incontinence Management:
The good news is that conscious breathing exercises can be an effective tool in managing urinary incontinence. Here are a few techniques that clients can incorporate into their daily routines:
Pelvic Floor Breathing:
Inhale deeply, letting the diaphragm descend.
As you exhale, gently contract your pelvic floor muscles.
Release the contraction as you inhale.
Repeat this cycle, gradually increasing the duration of contractions.
Can be done in different position (laying down, feet elevated, sidelying, on tummy, sitting, standing, with activities)
Mindful Breathing During Daily Activities:
Pay attention to your breath during routine activities.
When lifting, coughing, or sneezing, consciously engage your diaphragm and pelvic floor.
Maintain awareness of your breath to prevent unintentional breath-holding.
By recognizing the intricate connection between breathing and urinary continence, individuals with incontinence can empower themselves to take an active role in managing their condition. Incorporating simple yet powerful breathing techniques into daily life can contribute to improved pelvic floor function and, consequently, a greater sense of control over urinary incontinence. Remember, every breath counts, and by breathing right, you can take a step towards a life with fewer worries and more comfort.
Remember, there are 3 key pieces to helping your accidental peeing. We will discuss tension and abdominal pressure in OTHER blog posts.
Navigating womanhood can be hard, but we shouldn't have to do it alone. It's my mission to help my clients with their health and fitness, no matter what season they are in (pregnancy, postpartum, infertility, or trying to conceive). If you found this information helpful, share it with a friend. With my Women's Health Specialty and Pregnancy & Postpartum Athleticism Certificate, I can help you or your girlfriends with any questions that might have been unanswered for years!
-Stay Strong. Stay Flexible.