Did you know that 33 million Americans are dealing with Overactive Bladder symptoms and 25 million Americans will experience temporary or chronic urinary incontinence? With so many people silently suffering from these conditions, it’s important to remember that pelvic floor physical therapy can help solve these issues and allow men and women to get back to their lives with confidence. In observation of Bladder Health Month this November, our pelvic health physical therapists are sharing tips on keeping your bladder healthy.
We know hydration is important for our body's health, but the type of fluid intake makes a difference to our bladder. How much water should you drink in a day? Try to aim for an ounce of plain water for every pound you weigh. Limiting the number of caffeinated drinks like tea, coffee, and cola will also help to keep your urinary tract healthy, as these often irritate the bladder. Certain foods that are spicy or high in acid can also bother the bladder.
No More “Just In Case” Bathroom Trips
Your bladder forms habits easily due to its direct pathway to the brain. When you empty a bladder that isn't full, it will train the bladder to tell you to go more frequently throughout the day. Your bladder should be able to hold 16 ounces of urine – the size of a grande latte at Starbucks. It’s normal and healthy to void the bladder every 2-3 hours during the day. You shouldn’t be waking up more than once during the night to empty the bladder.
Don’t Hover Over The Toilet
Hovering over the toilet while attempting to urinate does not allow the pelvic floor muscles to relax in order to empty completely. Over time, this may train the body to strain while urinating or "push through" pelvic floor muscles that are not fully relaxed. This could lead to urinary incontinence.
What Bladder Conditions can a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist Treat?
Women who have had kids will often say that it’s normal to leak after sneezing or laughing, but a physical therapist can help you strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, so you don’t have to worry about urinary incontinence. They can also treat overactive bladder and urinary urgency in both men and women. Performance Physical Therapy has multiple clinics throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts that can help treat bladder conditions. Contact us at 401.726.7100 to schedule an appointment with a pelvic floor physical therapist so you can get back to your life with confidence.