Yoga Reduces Urinary Incontinence in Older Women
- Written by Nancy Hoi Wong OTD, OTR/L, RYT200
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Yoga for Incontinence
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:
- 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.
- 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.
American Urological Association. Press Release, May 20, 2018. http://auanet.mediaroom.com/2018-05-20-Womens-Health-and-Urinary-Functions
Jeffcoat, H. Post Partum Urinary Incontinence. https://feminapt.com/resources/published-articles/post-partum-urinary-incontinence
**This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor.