Kegel exercises were recently used as a behavior modification tactic for treating painful bladder syndrome (PBS). The exercise involves isolating and contracting the muscles involved in urination, usually by using a specially designed cones.
Kegal exercise has proven to be beneficial for urinary incontinence in many studies. Participants in the recent study suffered from painful bladder syndrome (also known as interstitial cystitis). In addition to experiencing pain while urinating, people with the problem experience a number of other symptoms.
They may feel the need to urinate frequently, sometimes as often as every ten minutes. That symptom interferes with their ability to enjoy normal activities. It lowers their quality of life and often leads to depression.
The need to urinate is often accompanied by a sense of urgency. They feel as though they might not make it to the bathroom. Worrying about that creates even more problems and more tension. The increased tension makes it difficult for them to start their urine stream when they do make it to the bathroom. It also makes intercourse painful.
Nocturia (needing to urinate at night) is another common symptom of PBS. Nocturia interferes with a person’s sleep. Middle-of-the-night insomnia sometimes begins as a result of nocturia.
Kegel exercises work by improving the function of the pelvic floor, a hammock shaped group of pc muscles that holds the pelvic organs in place. Pelvic floor dysfunction is associated with PBS, overactive bladder, urethral syndrome and urinary incontinence.kegels
Doctors sometimes have difficulty distinguishing PBS from other conditions. It is not unusual for patients to be misdiagnosed. Overactive bladder is one of the most common misdiagnoses. Medication is available for treating that condition. But the medications are ineffective for PBS. Sometimes doctors only think of the latter condition when the medication provides no benefit.
Studies have shown that Kegal exercises are beneficial for all kinds of urinary problems, regardless of the cause. The strength of the pelvic floor is almost always involved.
In the most recent study, doctors combined fluid restriction, healthy diet and Kegal exercises with surgical and drug therapy.
The results included an improved quality of life for all 18 patients participating in the study.
Since all of the patients received the same treatment, the researchers hoped that a larger study would be conducted. It would be interesting to see the comparison of Kegels alone to the multi-modal therapy.
Kegal exercise is something that women can do on their own to improve their sense of control. So it helps with the physical symptoms as well as the emotional ones.
Urination problems are particularly common around the time of menopause. Women have enough to deal with during that challenging change of life. Kegel exercises can help them deal with one or more of the challenges safely and naturally.