Weak pelvic floor muscles, or tight pelvic floor muscles, can contribute to your OAB symptoms. The women’s physical therapists who work with Chesapeake Urology recommend that women who have weak muscles do pelvic floor muscle exercises, also known as “Kegels,” to help strengthen these important muscles and help manage your OAB symptoms. When done properly and on a regular basis, pelvic floor muscles exercises can help improve bladder control.
The physical therapists will help you identify these muscles and teach you how to properly perform the exercises on your own every day. The key is finding your pelvic floor muscles to ensure you are performing these exercises correctly for maximum benefit.
Once you have isolated the proper muscles, lie on your back and relax.
Tighten or contract your pelvic floor muscles. Make sure you are not tensing the muscles in your butt, thighs or abdomen. Breathe steadily throughout the exercises.
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Hold the contraction for five seconds and then relax for five seconds. Your goal should be to work up to 10 repetitions and being able to hold the contraction for 10 seconds. This may take a couple of weeks.
Work up to doing the exercises two or three times per day. Once you get comfortable with the pelvic floor muscles exercises, you can perform them anytime – sitting at your desk, watching TV, lying in bed, and even in your car! Many women who do the exercises regularly and properly begin to notice an improvement in muscle strength and in OAB symptoms.
Again, if you need help locating your pelvic floor muscles, don’t be embarrassed to ask for help! It is important to seek the assistance of a trained pelvic health physical therapist or your urologist before starting any pelvic floor exercise program.