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yoga reduces urinary incontinence

Learn How Yoga Reduces Urinary Incontinence in Older Women 

A study presented at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association this past May of 2018 shows that a 3-month yoga intervention can reduce the frequency of urinary incontinence (UI) in women aged 50 years or older.

In the randomized trial completed by Dr. Alison Huang, MD and colleagues, a 3 month yoga therapy program was conducted with a group of 56 ambulatory women aged 50 years or older. These women had previously reported daily leaks and were not using any other clinical UI treatments.

The yoga program consisted of classes twice a week and one session of home practice weekly for three months. The therapeutic yoga classes were based out of the BKS Iyengar style of yoga.

After the three month trial, researchers saw a 74% decrease in daily leakage reported by the women in the yoga class. The women reported no negative outcomes related to the yoga practice.

Yoga Therapy at Femina Physical Therapy

Want to start a yoga practice?
Make an appointment with a therapist at Femina Physical Therapy to receive one-on-one yoga training, including a customized yoga flow for you and your body.

Yoga therapy at Femina PT will include:

  • A comprehensive intake evaluation
  • One-on-one yoga instruction and hands-on adjustments based on your body
  • A yoga program customized for you to practice at home to increase strength and flexibility where your body needs it

Here is a little preview of the types of poses that can optimize the function of your pelvic floor:

Malasana or Yogi Squat:

  • Stand with feet about mat-width apart, heels pointed out.
  • Bend knees and lower into a squat, make sure knees are tracking over the toes
  • Separate thighs wider than torso and press elbows against inner thighs, bringing palms together in front of chest.
  • Breathe deeply and imagine the crown of the lead lengthening toward the ceiling while allowing the tailbone to sink towards the floor.
  • Hold for 5-10 breaths.

Pillow Squeeze with Pelvic Curl:

pelvic curl yoga

  • Lie on the mat with a pillow or ball between your knees. (Pictured above)
  • Take a deep breathe in.
  • Exhale and imprint the low back onto the floor.
  • Continue articulating the spine to elevate the hips off the mat. (Pictured below)
  • Inhale at the top.
  • Exhale and roll the spine back down to the floor.

pelvic curl yoga

Child’s Pose

  • Begin on hands and knees on the yoga mat.
  • Bring the bum back towards the heels.
  • Walk hands forward and lower torso between thighs, resting forehead and nose on mat.
  • Stretch arms forward, pressing palms into the floor.
  • Stretch the hips down towards the heels and the floor.
  • Close eyes and breathe deeply for 1 minute.

References

American Urological Association. Press Release, May 20, 2018.

Jeffcoat, H. Post Partum Urinary Incontinence. https://feminapt.com/resources/published-articles/post-partum-urinary-incontinence

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Months after giving birth, it was difficult for me to go from a sitting or lying position up to a full standing position without feeling that I had to remain hunched over until a bit of time had passed to get fully upright. However, after taking Heather’s course, I learned exercises to get my body back to normal. She also showed me correct ways to lift and carry my son as well as put him in/take him out of the carseat and stroller. This class was really beneficial and Heather is a wonderful teacher who made me feel very comfortable.

-- A.M.

Testimonial by Amanda W.

Heather's unique physical therapy program literally changed my life! After years of struggling with vaginismus, a condition that made it impossible for me to have intercourse and very difficult to use tampons without pain, a gynecologist referred me to Heather. I was nervous for my first appointment, but Heather's professional and friendly demeanor put me at ease. She did a great job explaining each technique she was using to help my muscles relax. Heather uses a combination of internal and external stretches and exercises to relax the pelvic floor and build muscle strength. Her specially developed home program helped me quickly recover from an issue that seemed insurmountable before meeting Heather. She was optimistic about my progress and incredibly encouraging. Less than 6 months after my first session, I was able to have pain-free sex for the first time in my life! If you are suffering from vaginismus or any other pelvic floor issues, I highly recommend making an appointment with Heather and reading her book!

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Heather is the best! I saw her today for terrible hip/groin pain. I was so impressed with the safety measures in place and felt completely safe . Thanks for the healing hands.

S.S., age 54

Testimonial by T.H.

I started seeing Heather in October 2014. For more than two years, I had been suffering from painful urinary tract infection type symptoms after my bartholins gland surgery which included constant burning and urinary frequency sensation that led to more and more painful intercourse. I had made multiple visits to internist, obgyn and urologist's offices, went through a range of treatment with UTI and bladder frequency medication that included antibiotics, vesicare, estrogen cream, but nothing worked.

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Testimonial by S.P., Age 26

I would like to start off by thanking Heather Jeffcoat for educating me and curing me of Vaginismus. I had been married for almost three years before I was referred to Heather. I never knew about Vaginismus until almost three years into my marriage. I knew something was wrong when I went on my honeymoon and came back a Virgin. I had always imagined how magical my first night would be but boy was I wrong.

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Testimonial by Jamie M.

I have been going to see Heather for a while now, and I can't tell you enough how much she has improved my quality of life. Heather specializes in issues like pelvic floor, but I see her for other orthopedic issues.

I have a lot of chronic joint pain and dysfunction issues (back, hips, neck) that require that have ongoing physical therapy maintenance. The effects of my problem joints/areas overlap and interconnect with each other in complex ways, so helping me requires really having a complete understanding of the entire skeletal and muscular system. Pain does not always appear where the problem actually is, the human body is a twisty, many-layered puzzle. I have an exercise program I do at home and I am very functional, but there are just something things I need a PT to help me out with.

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