There have been a few blogs like this – less about what I know and more about some signposting to some people that are vastly more qualified to talk about it than me.
I’ve just finished listening to a physio podcast about incontinence. Yes – we get all the exciting things to listen to. While I was aware of pelvic floor issues and how physio can help with issues regarding incontinence etc. what I was not aware of is the size of the problem nationally, the normalisation of it as “just something that happens” by pad manufacturers and the complete lack of realisation that it is something that can be “fixed” in 85% of cases – but no-one goes to get help.
In fact, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 9 men have continence issues. Not only that, but on average, it takes 7 years of it being a problem before someone actually considers getting any help…. Not actually getting help- but *considers* getting help.
Those – at least to me – are astonishing statistics, and it was not until I saw someone the other day and we talked about trampolines that I heard the classic line “a trampoline? I don’t think so – I’ve had kids”, for the first time.
The fact that so many people – female and male – are walking around with such huge physical issues is bordering on a health epidemic. If there was a problem that was affecting 1 in 3 women that was visible, I daresay there might be a bit of a hoo-hah about it. As it is, this is almost an invisible problem that is partially normalised by personal experience or that of your someone in your family – or by the fact that there are pads being marketed to you to limit the “damage” that might incur through leakage. “Don’t let a leak stop you” kind of thing.
But shouldn’t the question be “why let a leak be the harbinger of doom”? There is excellent and very robust research from a number of countries and research centres that show that physio is incredibly effective at bringing bladder function back to normal. The problem is, it’s a fairly embarrassing thing to have to admit to, to anyone, let alone a health professional you’ve barely been in the room with for 5 minutes.
I suppose the purpose of this blog is because out of everyone that reads this, there will be a fairly high chance that at least some of you might be suffering from this. You don’t have to. You don’t need to have that rueful laugh, worry about when the bus might get stuck in traffic, or if you can’t get to the toilet on a plane because of turbulence. There IS a solution for the vast majority of sufferers out there.
Unfortunately – or maybe fortunately, depending on your viewpoint, I am not necessarily the person to be able to help you – so let me point you in the right direction.
First up – the person that was being interviewed in the podcast that I started talking about at the top of this page- Elaine Miller- aka. Gussie Grips. A pelvic health physio and stand up comedian. You should *definitely* checkout her website and youtube clips. She is a marvel.
Actually – for the moment, that’s all you really need… and follow her on Twitter as well.
Don’t put up with it. Do something about it. Find some information, do your exercises.
ps. Lynne is also a pregnancy fitness trainer and has experience helping women with incontinence issues postpartum as part of a full fitness programme which includes pelvic floor function.