Have you experienced leaking while exercising? If you’re thinking to yourself, I remember that one time… then you may benefit from pelvic floor physical therapy. Leaking while lifting is a sign of stress incontinence. Stress incontinence can be defined as involuntary loss of urine with physical exertion or increased intra-abdominal pressure. This can be anything from: laughing, sneezing, coughing, and you guessed it exercising!

If your incontinence is muscular in nature, there are multiple ways the pelvic floor muscles could be in dysfunction. Incontinence can be due to weakness, overactivity, or decreased coordination.

· Weakness – the pelvic floor does not have enough strength to combat the increased stress that is being placed on the system.

· Overactivity – the pelvic floor is in a contracted state, and it doesn’t have more to give to hold urine with an increase in pressure.

· Decreased coordination – the pelvic floor should be contracting slightly during sneezing, coughing, or laughing. At times, the pelvic floor could be relaxing when it should be contracting to support the system.

Because there are a lot of potential reasons for stress incontinence, it is important to be assessed by a pelvic floor physical therapist to assess and prescribe specific exercises for you!

By Dr. Kristine Godsil, PT, DPT, CSCS