Avoid jumping jacks at the gym?
Don’t want to take your new puppy to the park because you don’t know if you’ll leak a little or a lot?
Started wearing a pantiliner all the time, just in case? Or maybe something even thicker?
Maybe you don’t want anyone at dinner to make you laugh. Or cough or sneeze.
This is type of leaking is called stress incontinence. And you’re in good company if it’s happened to you.
Prevalence is estimated at 15 million women in the US and nearly half of women over 50 years report some instances of stress incontinence.
In it’s most simplified explanation, stress incontinence is a problem of more pressure out that pressure in.
All of the activities above increase mechanical pressure down on the bladder. If that pressure is greater than the strength of the pelvic floor/urinary sphincters, then the urine leaks out.
Many women avoid this scenario by avoiding the activities that increase pressure down, but you can improve the ability to stop that pressure.
This can be done by strengthening the pelvic floor itself, the hip and core musculature supporting the pelvic floor muscles, and improving the overall coordination of the pelvic floor which can include alignment of the LE, pelvis, and spine!
Seeing a physical therapist is a great way to start and to find out the best strategy to solve stress incontinence.
In this last article about how to get your spinal engine revving on all cylinders, we’re going over some aspects of strength and coordination that are important for successful and pain free walking.
2 of the most important muscle groups to make sure you have strong are your hips and your core musculature!
These muscles allow you to transfer the weight of the trunk onto the leg without collapsing.
These core muscles work kind of like a corset to stability and support your low back. They also coordinate and drive the reciprocal rhythm of walking.
In terms of checking your strength in these areas, simple floor exercises will suffice for many of us to start.
Here are two exercises that I often prescribe for my patients:
These videos are for educational purposes only and are not medical advice. If you try them out, comment and let me know what you think!
We’ve been talking about how your walking can be more efficient, effective, and potentially less painful if your walking pattern is spinally generated.
Your alignment plays a big role in this.
And mobility in the 3 areas plays a big role in your alignment and walking capacity.
What are the 3 areas, you ask???
All the videos are for educational purposes only. They are not medical advice.
So how does our posture affect our walking. Does it even matter?
Well, the short answer is, “yes”. It does matter.
I talked in the last post about how our walking is ideally generated by our spine and core muscles. And that while our legs take us further and faster, our spine and core is the generator of efficient and comfortable walking.
Our standing posture affects how well our spine and core muscles are able to work together.
The connection that our trunk and pelvis is able to make is crucial to our core response and spinal stability.
And the connection they make is affected by their relationship to each other. Or another way of saying that is their posture!
If our trunk and pelvis are not in good alignment, then it’s harder for them to work together.
You can think of the top half of your body as a block and the bottom half of your body as a block. The blocks need to be stacked solidly or the structure isn’t as strong.
In the next blog post, I’ll talk about where many of need more mobility in order to achieve an improved posture or starting position for walking and how mobility in our one part of our body greatly affects our ease and efficiency of walking!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.