Is there incorrect information still out there about our pelvic floor muscles? ABSOLUTELY.
It is normal to lose control of our bladders as we get older
INCORRECT – It is very common but not normal
Why do we think this is still normal?
We still see those darn Depends and Poise commercials aimed at the older adult. This constantly gives the message that as we get older, we will have to start wearing a pad. There is never another alternative offered.
Even with the best of intentions, if one of your older friends or family members are using bladder pads, it gently reinforces the thought that this is a normal part of aging.
Old = Sick
We tend to think that we age, problems (sickness, pathology, aches and pains) begin and our bladder is just part of the pattern. Our pelvic floor muscles need to be both flexible and strong and if we ignore them, they likely could use a little exercise. It just makes sense that if we aren’t suffering from a disease such as Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, or others, we very likely can make a big change with our bladders.
This message is very similar to Myth #1 regarding leaking after pregnancy but the difference is that aging includes both men and women. Though men may leak for different reasons, helping to strengthen or release the pelvic floor muscles is still the first line of treatment….or should be.
As a pelvic floor physiotherapist, I treat people from 20-90 years of age. If you are working your way towards your “golden years”, but want to stay dry, please see your neighbourhood pelvic floor physiotherapist for some help. In British Columbia Canada, www.bcphysio.org; everywhere else: look up the physiotherapist college, google in your area or call your nearest physiotherapy clinic and they can send you in the right direction.
Visit my youtube channel at Cathy Watson Physiotherapy for more information on pelvic floor muscle issues and exercises.