Why Kegels Aren’t the Only Thing to Help Urinary Incontinence: Pelvic Floor Overactivity

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 6 of 6 discussing other reasons you could be having urinary leakage (for both men and women). 

​The sixth topic to look into is overactivation of the pelvic floor and surrounding structures. Life is hard and sometimes we tense our pelvic floor without even realizing it. People who have an overactive pelvic floor should not be performing kegels without learning how to down train first. Downtraining allows the ability to fully empty your bladder or reduce spasms around the bladder which can cause leakage. People with an overactive pelvic floor may also experience pain within the vagina or rectum.

Techniques to help reduce overactivity of the pelvic floor are:

  • Deep breathing
  • Relaxation stretches
  • Stress management
  • Activity modification
  • Internal and external manual techniques