Why Do I Leak When I Exercise?
By, Gail O’Neill, PFPT
Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) is a loss of urine associated with stress to the body which causes increased intra-abdominal pressure. This occurs with running, lifting and jumping. If you can imagine squeezing a tube of glue with the top off- the glue would squeeze out which is what happens when we have an event that increases our intra-abdominal pressure. If that cap on the tube is on, when squeezed, the glue stays in the tube because all of the systems are in place to prevent anything from leaking out. With this example, the cap represents our Pelvic Floor Muscles. It is necessary for these muscles to work correctly by contracting with enough force in order to close our urethra and prevent leakage of urine.
Many people of all ages and backgrounds can have SUI and pelvic floor disorders. Being an athlete may not exclude you from this disorder and some forms of exercise can actually put you at greater risk. Most people have muscle imbalances and impairments that can lead to SUI. The most common cause is tight muscles and the inability to adequately control their pelvic floor muscles.
People who engage in high impact sports such as, Cross Fit and Gymnastics will put someone at higher risk versus someone who does Yoga or Golf. The failure of the system occurs when the load placed on the pelvic floor muscle group is greater than the ability to properly function by closing off the urethra in order to reduce the chance of leaking.
At Pelvic Health Solutions, we have a team of well trained and experienced Pelvic Floor Physical Therapists that can evaluate your entire system and devise a custom treatment plan to help you overcome this dysfunction.
For more information about leaking or pain relief from pelvic floor disorders, contact Pelvic Health Solutions at (561) 899-7747.