EXERCISE AND URINARY INCONTINENCE
By Mary Ann Wilson, RN
Urinary incontinence, the unexpected loss of urine on a regular basis affects more than 12 million Americans. Women are especially prone to urinary incontinence.
The following strategies are often effective in treating urinary incontinence:
- Pelvic muscle exercises
- Bladder training
Other management techniques include: frequent toileting, restricting bedtime fluid intake, easier access to toilet facilities, use of absorbent pads or undergarments, and avoiding bladder irritants such as caffeine, spices, and acidic juices.
Kegel exercises (see box below) can also contribute to better bladder control because these exercises involve tightening and relaxing the key pelvic muscles. They are especially effective for women who leak when sneezing or coughing, and for men who experience bladder control problems following prostate surgery.