Dealing with pelvic floor issues

A Vernon physiotherapist says help is available to those dealing with bladder and bowel incontinence

Many people have them, but few will talk about them. What are these unspoken issues? Problems may include bladder/bowel incontinence, organ prolapse and pelvic pain.

Women who have not given birth, as well as men, may experience pelvic floor issues, though they tend to stem from different causes.

Women who have given birth, either vaginally or by caesarean, are at most risk. If at eight to 12 weeks a woman is still having incontinence issues, she will likely remain this way when seen one year later if no intervention has happened. This should not happen because this is a problem that can be helped.

Why don’t people seek out help? In addition to a new mom being very busy, this is just not an easy subject to talk about. It can be an embarrassing topic to bring up and because very few talk about it, you may think you are the only one.

These problems may be just a hiccup in someone’s day or may eventually cause them to leave the house less often. Having to know where all the available bathrooms are, possibly packing incontinence pads in an already too packed purse and having to deal with unexpected accidents, is more common than most people think.

Incontinence is a very common problem, but remember, this is not a normal problem to have!  The pelvic floor muscles are like other muscles in the body, in that they have a job to do. One of their jobs is to support some of your organs like the bladder, uterus and rectum. If they become too weak or too tight, they will have problems doing their job well and they let you know this by giving you some symptoms such as experiencing a feeling of heaviness, bladder/bowel leakage or pain.

The good news is there is conservative help available. A pelvic floor physiotherapist can assess your pelvic floor and help you properly engage your pelvic floor muscles, can help release your tight muscles, go over dietary choices that might be bladder/bowel irritants, and help you make some behavior changes throughout the day to support your bladder and bowel. The most important message is that you do not have to live with this problem and that help is available!

Cathy Watson is a physiotherapist in Vernon, with Cathy Watson Physiotherapy.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Family Literacy Week is being celebrated in downtown Vernon with the first ever Story-Window Walk Jan. 21-31. (Literacy Society of North Okanagan)
Catch a Yeti in downtown Vernon

Literacy Week celebrated with first ever Story-Window Walk

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

A COVID-19 outbreak at Vernon's Heritage Square long-term care home has claimed seven people. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Two more COVID-19 deaths at Vernon care home

Heritage Square has now lost seven people due to the outbreak

A Salvation Army bell is rung by Michael Cronin as he staffs the charity’s red donation kettle in front of a grocery store, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, in Lynden, Wash. The familiar ringing of handbells has gone silent at many Canadian shopping malls this year as the Salvation Army tries to cope with COVID-19 rules at a time of dropping donations. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Elaine Thompson
Record-breaking Christmas for Vernon Salvation Army

$640K and significant food donations pour into local organization ahead of holidays

A 2002 F350 was stolen from a Whitevale home sometime overnight Jan. 14. (Contributed)
Truck stolen near Lumby overnight

Lifted Ford stolen from Whitevale Road

President Donald Trump speaks to the media before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021 in Washington. The President is traveling to Texas. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Black Press Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

In case you missed it, here’s what made waves throughout the week

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

(Big White Ski Resort photo)
13 more cases of COVID-19 tied to Big White Mountain cluster

This brings the total case count to 175, of which 32 cases are active

RCMP on scene at a home on Sylvania Cres. (Phil McLachlan /Capital News/FILE)
Two Kelowna men arrested after Rutland home invasion

Two Kelowna men, including a prolific offender, facing slew of potential charges

Real estate sales in the South Okanagan grew by more than any other part of the province in 2020. (Marissa Tiel - Black Press)
South Okanagan fastest growing real estate market in B.C.

There was over $1 billion in residential sales in 2020

Most Read