I hope I can reach female sufferers of incontinence.
I am an 82 year old female and suffered from incontinence for the last 8 years. My doctor told me to do Kegel exercises, but showed me no instructions. She prescribed Myrbetriq medication, which was supposed to suppress leakage and urgency. After trying it for 4 months I discontinued it because there was not really much difference. It was a very expensive product -$61.00 a month that is not covered by OHIP. My condition went worse and worse. Lately I had extreme discomfort and my time gaps went shorter and shorter, 10 0r 11 times in a 24 hours period. I got hardly any sleep, because each time I had to void and run to the bathroom during the night, I could not get back to sleep. It was so bad that I could not attend a movie or go for a short distance drive.
I went to several health care workers including exercise professionals. Each showed me a different method. I found out that Kegel exercises are done 99% incorrectly which only worsens the condiiton.
Somehow I got an e-mail message to seek help from a Physiotherapist who specialises in pelvic floor muscle rehabilitation. This lady has a masters degree in physiotherapy (in several areas of physiotherapy, but also how to treat pelvic floor rehabilitation) from the University of Western Ontario. She examined me and said that I have extremely weak pelvic floor muscles. (Since I am a woman, I can only tell you the female side of treatment).
Here is her treatment, I write out her own words:
Do the following exercises in BED (not standing, not waiting for a traffic light etc.)
Do them twice daily, once in the morning when you get up and once at night when you go to bed. Actually the Kegel exercises have 2 steps.
1. Imagine you pull up a blueberry up to your belly button. Do this 5 times. Do it
slowly, while breathing. Stop and relax after each exercise.
2. Push the blueberry out like you want to void and hold. Also 5 times.
Do these 2 exercises (5 times each) two times. Be completely relaxed.
Make sure to NOT squeeze legs, abdomen or glutes. BREATHE. Do not hold
your breath. You don't want to increase intra-abdominal pressure, which is working
AGAINST the Kegels.
After doing these exercises for 3 weeks I have experienced a huge difference. The night times have shortened and I have no more discomfort. I will do this for the rest of my life in order to keep my pelvic floor muscles strengthened.
Also important is your diet: For the time being refrain from any acids, like citrus fruit, tomato juice (I had to give up my beloved V-8 juice), tomato pasta sauce, spicy food, beer, alcohol, coffee (the last two items I consume only in very limited amounts, like a scant cup of coffee and 1 oz of brandy before going to bed. I gave up my nightly Martini). Drink lots of water!
Good luck. Michelle