How to Eliminate Bladder Urgency with Pelvic Floor Therapy

Bladder urgency can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. The feeling of a sudden, strong need to urinate can be uncomfortable and inconvenient.

This article will discuss the causes and symptoms of bladder urgency, the role of the pelvic floor, when to see a pelvic floor therapist, helpful exercises, and everyday activities that may alleviate symptoms.

What is Bladder Urgency?

Bladder urgency, the sudden and often inconvenient urge to urinate, has long been recognized as a common urinary issue. The numerous causes can range from lifestyle factors to underlying health conditions. Potential culprits are overactive bladder (OAB), urinary tract infections (UTIs), interstitial cystitis, and various neurological disorders. Even habits like consuming bladder irritants (e.g., caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods) can provoke symptoms.

Historically, bladder urgency was often overlooked and underreported, with people considering it an inevitable part of aging or an embarrassing issue not worth discussing. However, the reality is that it can significantly disrupt daily activities and quality of life. Imagine being in a crucial meeting or an enjoyable social event, only to have to leave abruptly due to a sudden and overpowering urge to use the bathroom.

Recognizing and addressing bladder urgency is vital to maintaining comfort and a sense of normalcy in everyday life.

What Causes Bladder Urgency?

Many different factors can cause bladder urgency and reduce your daily quality of life. These can include overactive bladder, urinary tract infections, and more. Let’s take a look at four of the most common causes of bladder urgency.

Overactive Bladder (OAB)

This condition is characterized by a frequent, sudden urge to urinate. It can occur even when the bladder isn’t full.

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

Infections in the urinary tract can irritate the bladder, leading to a feeling of urgency.

Interstitial Cystitis

Also known as painful bladder syndrome, this condition can cause chronic bladder pressure and pain, accompanied by a sense of urgency.

Neurological Disorders

Conditions such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease, or multiple sclerosis can disrupt signals between the brain and the bladder, resulting in bladder urgency.

Symptoms of Bladder Urgency

Bladder urgency typically presents as a sudden, strong need to urinate that’s difficult to ignore. Other symptoms may include:

  1. Frequent urination: Needing to go more than eight times a day.
  2. Nocturia: Waking up multiple times during the night to urinate.
  3. Urge incontinence: Experiencing involuntary urine leakage following a sudden urge to urinate.

Role of the Pelvic Floor in Bladder Urgency

The pelvic floor muscles play a critical role in bladder control. When functioning normally, they contract to prevent urine from leaking out and relax to allow urine to pass during urination. If these muscles become weak or overactive, it can contribute to bladder urgency.

When to See a Pelvic Floor Therapist

If bladder urgency impacts your daily life, causing distress, or is accompanied by pain or discomfort, it may be time to consult a pelvic floor therapist. These specialists can help identify the underlying cause of your symptoms and provide targeted treatments to manage bladder urgency.

Exercises to Help Eliminate Bladder Urgency

Pelvic floor exercises can help strengthen these muscles and improve bladder control. Some beneficial exercises include:

Kegel Exercises

These exercises involve repeatedly contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles. They can be performed in any position but are often easiest while sitting or lying down.

Bladder Training

This technique involves scheduling bathroom visits at regular intervals and gradually increasing the time between trips to the toilet. It aims to increase the bladder’s capacity and extend the time between feeling the need to urinate and having to go.

Quick Flicks

These exercises involve quickly contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles. They can help improve the reflexes of these muscles to prevent urine leakage when a sense of urgency arises.

Daily Activities That Can Help

Certain everyday activities can help manage bladder urgency in individuals. But before you commit to any one method, keep in mind that everyone’s body is different. What works for one person may not work for another. Working with a healthcare provider to create a plan that works for you is essential.

Here are some top activities that can help you reduce bladder urgency.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking fluids can help dilute urine, reducing bladder irritation, so ensure you ingest plenty of water throughout the day.

Avoid Bladder Irritants

Several substances can worsen your bladder urgency issues, so try to avoid consuming them where possible. A few common bladder irritants can include caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods.

Practice Mindful Relaxation

Stress can exacerbate feelings of urgency. Incorporating stress management techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, or yoga can help relax both the mind and the pelvic floor muscles, reducing symptoms of bladder urgency.

Get Regular Physical Exercise

Physical activity can help maintain overall muscle tone, including the pelvic floor muscles. Activities like walking, cycling, or Pilates can be beneficial.

Adopt a Fiber-Rich Diet

A fiber-rich diet can prevent constipation, which can contribute to bladder urgency by putting additional pressure on the bladder.

Stop Smoking

Smoking can irritate the bladder and increase symptoms of urgency. If you’re a smoker, seeking help to quit can improve your bladder health.

Key Takeaways

Bladder urgency can be an inconvenient and stressful problem. Understanding the causes and symptoms, and the role of the pelvic floor in its manifestation, is the first step toward managing this issue.

With a range of exercises and beneficial daily activities, coupled with guidance from a pelvic floor therapist, it is possible to reduce and even eliminate bladder urgency.

Consulting with a healthcare provider for a personalized treatment plan is essential. Plus, you can contact me for more information whenever you need it!