The Great Conjunction and Why Kegels Aren’t the Only Thing to Help Urinary Incontinence: Musculoskeletal Function

Today is a special day. Today is the winter solstice and what astrologers are calling the “Great Conjunction”. The winter solstice signals the changing of the seasons. The Great Conjunction is the over-lapping of Jupiter and Saturn as we see it in the night sky. According to NASA, “The planets regularly appear to pass each other in the solar system, with the positions of Jupiter and Saturn being aligned in the sky about once every 20 years. What makes this year’s spectacle so rare, then? It’s been nearly 400 years since the planets passed this close to each other in the sky, and nearly 800 years since the alignment of Saturn and Jupiter occurred at night, as it will for 2020, allowing nearly everyone around the world to witness this “great conjunction.””. Even if you are not interested in astronomy and how it relates to the seasons, you may feel a new energy or sense of knowing during this time. It is most likely a coincidence that this phenomenon is ocurring at this specific time when at the end of the year we are already reflecting on our lives. But I feel this one hits differently. No matter your beliefs, idealogy, or personal experiences, 2020 changed us. Take this special day today to reflect on your past and set some intentions for the future.

Many times during an initial evaluation, a patient has told me that they have been doing kegels every day but they are still having leakage. I can only imagine how frustrating it would be to feel that something so simple as contracting your pelvic floor like a bicep curl every day wouldn’t be able to ‘fix’ a very sensitive problem. Sometimes it is just as simple as doing kegels, however, in our experience, there is much more going on than weakness in the pelvic floor that is causing urinary incontinence. This is part 4 of 6 discussing other reasons you could be having urinary leakage (for both men and women). 

​The fourth topic to discuss is musculoskeletal function. This means, we check the entire body to see where the demand of life is affecting your bladder. We area able to assess your strength, mobility, posture, and coordination during certain functional movements which can affect your bladder. 

This is exactly what physical therapy is as a profression! Here are a few musculoskeletal tendencies that increase the likelihood of urinary incontinence:

  • Hip tightness and/or weakness
  • Decreased low back mobility
  • Decreased balance
  • Forward head and rounded shoulder posture
  • Pelvic floor tightness and/or weakness
  • Soft tissue restrictions