Today’s society places ever-increasing demands on our time. With the pressures of juggling a career, domestic tasks, managing the finances, and caring for those we love, it can be difficult to concentrate on our own health. It is often only when our health begins to suffer and our body starts to send out alarm signals forcing us to slow down, that we truly begin to focus on ourselves. I often see patients who have reached this point and who want some help in improving their health and wellbeing. The alarm signals can be anything from headaches, to shoulder, knee, back and ankle problems and everything in between. Whilst many of us are happy to seek help for our back pain or shoulder problem, one area of health is often neglected – the bladder and pelvic floor.
A healthy bladder
- Empties 4-8 times daily, and may empty once overnight
- Empties about every 3-4 hours
- Holds around 2 cups of urine (400-600ml)
- May wake you when full, but gives you enough time to find a toilet
What can go wrong?
- Accidental or involuntary leakage of urine:
- Urge incontinence is when urine leaks due to an urgent feeling to empty the bladder and not enough time to get to a toilet
- Stress incontinence is when urine leaks if you jump, run, stand up, cough or sneeze.
- Weakened supportive tissue and pelvic floor muscles cause the bladder to bulge into the vaginal wall.
Roughly one-third of all women will suffer from some sort of bladder dysfunction at some point in their lives, but only a small proportion of those affected will ask for help for their symptoms or mention them when visiting a doctor. Most pelvic floor dysfunction can be greatly improved or eradicated altogether with some simple self-help and lifestyle changes, such as pelvic floor exercises and reducing coffee and alcohol intake. A good source of advice is Bowel and Bladder UK: https://www.bbuk.org.uk This blog can’t cover all aspects of advice and care and I would encourage anyone affected to get in touch if they have any questions or would like to discuss where to go for help.
Maria Robinson, Registered Osteopath
M.Ost, BA (Hons)
07855407455 | www.health-house.co.uk