Women's Health

Struggling with Incontinence? Here Are 3 Mistakes We See Women Make

Struggling with incontinence can often feel like an isolating and lonely problem. Women don’t talk about it or admit to it, rather it is swept under the rug or joked about in passing. 43% of women ages 50-64 struggle with leaking and 51% of women ages 65-80. Two-thirds of those women have not asked for advice from a healthcare provider for what to do about it. Without seeking advice you may have habits that are making your symptoms worse while you are trying to manage incontinence on your own. Here are the three most common mistakes we see women in their 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s make who are struggling with incontinence.

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#1 Going “Just in Case”

Do you have the urge to go to the bathroom every time you pick up your keys to leave the house? If that is you, stop going the bathroom “just in case” everytime you leave your home. Going to the bathroom too often before your bladder is full can trigger your body to send your brain a signal that your bladder is full when it really isn’t. This can create urgency and urge incontinence. Also, break the habit of having your kids do this as well. Their little bladders are susceptible to the same conditioning and problems as adult bladders.

#2 Not Drinking Enough Fluids

You stop drinking or drink too little to avoid filling up your bladder to avoid leaks. Drinking too little causes the urine in your bladder to be extremely concentrated. Concentrated urine leads to bladder irritation, urge to go, and pain. Your urine will look dark yellow in color if it is concentrated and closer to light yellow or clear when it is diluted. I even check up on my children with this and ask, “Does your pee look closer to orange juice or lemonade?” If they say orange juice, their next stop is the kitchen to get a glass of water.

#3 Straining on the Toilet

You strain on the toilet. Your pelvic floor muscles should be completely relaxed when you urinate to completely empty your bladder. Leaving urine in your bladder can lead to irritation, infection, and a whole other host of problems. A cue for adults and always fun for little boys is that you should pee like a garden hose watering flowers (steady and constant) and not like a fireman putting out a wildfire (pushing hard for speed or distance).


Next Step

If you are struggling with incontinence and not sure what to do next. Sign up below for our 15 min class on incontinence (the same one we give to our patients). This class will go over the types of incontinence,how to tell which one you have, habits to stop, and habits to start. At Proximity, we know from experience that incontinence is a symptom of a larger problem. Each woman’s situation is unique so we find the root cause of your incontinence and match the correct exercises and strategies with the cause. If you have further questions after viewing the course, please give us a call or reach out to us on messenger below. Our goal is to get women back to activities they love leak free.

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Your Diastisis Recti Is a Symptom, Not the Cause!

Hi Ladies! Are you a busy mom who is struggling with a condition like diastasis recti (abdominal separation)? Any new mother who has been asked, “When is your baby due?” AFTER she has already had her baby completely understands this and how frustrating it can be.

IS DIASTASIS RECTI TREATABLE?

The answer is yes, if you focus on identifying the root cause of your diastasis. This is why a generic program of exercises will not work for many women. We generally see 4-5 causes and contributing factors like scar tissue, intra-abdominal pressure problems or rib flare to name a few. Many women have more than one factor making recovery not so straight forward. We completely individualize our treatment sessions to match your needs with your root cause to give you the right treatment exercises and strategies. Each woman is as unique as the baby she has just welcomed to the world!

KNOW THE ROOT CAUSE + SPECIFIC TREATMENT EXERCISES FOR EACH INDIVIDUAL= REGAIN CORE CONTROL AND GET BACK TO THE ACTIVITIES YOU LOVE!

WHERE DO I START?

One of the first things you can do is learn more about what factors could be contributing to your diastasis and if there is more than one. We provide you with that information here in our 25 minute diastasis video. This is the exact video we send to our patients before their first visit with us who have a diagnosis of diastasis recti.

If you have any questions after watching this or need guidance on what to do for you individual condition please call us or connect with us on messenger below so you can talk directly with a women’s health physical therapist. ~ Dr. Anne Madden, PT, DPT


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Find the Root Cause of Your Diastasis Recti - Get the Video


Do You Have Questions Right Now? Connect directly with Dr. Anne Madden, PT, DPT on Facebook Messenger

If you are not sure what to do next, click below to connect through Facebook Messenger with Dr. Anne Madden, an orthopedic and women’s health physical therapist, so she can help you figure out the next step to getting back to the activities you love.

Don't Ignore Your Pelvic Floor

What difference does a good foundation make?

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About a year our house was completed, we noticed large diagonal cracks were forming above the doors. We patched the cracks and then three months later noticed they reappeared and were slowly getting bigger and bigger. Nail pops in the ceiling came next, followed by doors that would no longer open or close correctly.

Time to call in the experts

What is going on here? Why do these issues keep reappearing and getting worse? We quickly realized that we needed help. We needed experts to assess what was really going on. We called in foundation experts who performed all kinds of tests and determined the symptoms we were seeing, the cracks and misaligned doors, were caused by a faulty foundation.

What does this have to do with my pelvic floor?

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We see the same type of pattern in our bodies. The foundation of your body (your pelvis and pelvic floor) need to be functioning well to support the rest of your house (shoulders, knees, neck, etc). When your foundation is faulty, the pain and symptoms can be felt in body parts that are far from the problem site. These symptoms are like the nail pops and cracks in my house and cannot be resolved without correcting and maintaining your alignment. We know that your body is not in a static position all day long (or shouldn't be) so we need a healthy pelvis and pelvic floor to function during our movement/work/daily activities. Once you have a healthy foundation in place, you have a solid base from which your arms and legs can work.

Time to get to work

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Good news for you! Physical therapists are the foundation experts for the body. We assess your normal standing and sitting alignment and pelvic floor function. We teach you how to find your ideal alignment to get your pelvic floor activated and stabilizing your pelvis. I refer to this as your "home base." In the beginning, we teach you to start from home base before you move and over time your body will naturally return to this new home base without consciously thinking about it. Like with our house, you may need professional guidance or expertise to figure out how to adjust your foundation or change your habits to maximize the ability to use your body in pain free ways. Have you tried to spot fix your body only to have the pain return or new pains begin?

If this sounds like you...It might be time to call in an expert.

Book a Discovery Session today to see how Proximity experts can help!

Kegels Not Working For You? 3 Reasons Why

If you are a woman, chances are you and kegels have crossed paths before. Kegels have traditionally been the only thing prescribed to women trying to recover after giving birth. Unfortunately, studies have shown that pelvic floor muscle training programs (kegels) are successful for only about 55% of women. If kegels fail, the traditional next option is surgery. But I have been a physical therapist for over ten years and own a practice focused on women returning to activities they love with a healthy pelvic floor and need to tell you that there are three specific reason that kegels fail for many women.

1. PELVIC FLOOR WEAKNESS IS NOT ACTUALLY YOUR PROBLEM

Traditional pelvic floor exercises, such as kegels, treat the symptom of the pelvic floor weakness. But is your pelvic floor actually weak? Or is your problem that the communication between your brain and the pelvic floor has been disrupted due to having a baby, having surgery, changing medication, trauma, or having been on bed rest?  With the women I work with, I want to discover why the pelvic floor is not functioning correctly before prescribing exercises.

2. YOUR PELVIC FLOOR MUSCLES MAY BE TOO TIGHT

Many women have pelvic floor muscles that are too tight. Performing a kegel exercise on top of an already too tight muscle will only make it tighter. A tight pelvic floor can cause symptoms similar to a weak pelvic floor such as incontinence and pelvic pain.

3. THE TIMING AND STRENGTH OF YOUR KEGEL

A healthy pelvic floor responds automatically to stress from gravity, movement activities, and increased pressure in your abdomen. Your pelvic floor should react differently depending on the type of challenge. For example, your pelvic floor will need a stronger contraction when you are lifting your toddler vs. lifting a pencil. So it should be trained during different functional activities to react with proper timing and with proper force. By performing traditional kegels, you are training yourself to react with the most force you can create during all activities. This can and does cause even more problems than a weak pelvic floor and is the most common problem I see in women experiencing incontinence. They have trained their pelvic floor to overreact and now it overreacts all the time.

Take Our Free Pelvic and Core Health Mini-Course

In this course, you will get a series of three videos sent to your email to see EXACTLY what I teach my patients on breathing and managing the pressure in their abdomen during their initial treatment sessions when they present with one of these three issues. Enjoy!