Biofeedback devices for kegel exercise equals super kegel
You know if you have urinary incontinence (UI). You are one of the millions of women who experience a loss of bladder control when you cough, sneeze or exercise. Or maybe you feel a sudden need to urinate just before you experience a gush of urine. Some women experience this after childbirth or as they age. Although very treatable, many women never mention the problem to a healthcare professional. UI can be bothersome, even debilitating, and the fear of embarrassment interferes with enjoyment of time with family and friends.
Urinary incontinence is classified as a medical problem but there are behavioral techniques that you can use to control or reverse this condition. Medications or invasive surgical procedures can provide some relief, but do not treat the primary cause of functional urinary incontinence. Most often incontinence is caused by weakened pelvic floor muscles. What is needed is not a quick fix, but a way to increase the strength of these weakened muscles.
Your pelvic floor muscles are responsible for shutting off the flow of urine. Dr. Kegel developed his Kegel exercises for this area (the pubococcygeus), which supports the pelvic floor. He found that if you could strengthen these muscles you could impact urinary incontinence, thereby improving bladder control. The problem with Kegel exercises is that it can be difficult to know for sure if you are doing them correctly and that you are actually exercising the right muscle. So, women who try Kegels and don’t achieve the results they want can often give up too soon. Their practice can be ineffective because they can’t tell whether they are doing the Kegels correctly and can’t measure their progress.
In an effort to assist women and keep them from giving up on their treatment, Dr. Kegel found that the simple Kegel contraction could be paired with a biofeedback device to create a super Kegel. He developed a machine that increased the resistance of the contraction, forcing you to really clench in order to contract. A gauge will tell you how strong the contraction is. Now you have a contraction that is really using the muscles of the pelvic floor and you can see how the strength of the contraction is increasing over time. There are many products on the market to help make doing Kegel exercises more effective in treating urinary incontinence. You can choose from simple devices that when inserted into the vagina move to indicate you are doing the exercises correctly or try sophisticated biofeedback Kegel exercise devices that can actually measure the amount of muscle activity you are exerting.
If you have nerve damage and don’t have the sensations that can let you know you are doing the Kegels correctly you can ask your healthcare professional to check while you do them. If you still need help you may be able to learn how to do the exercises by using biofeedback. And, remember there is no age where functional UI has to be tolerated. Everyone can benefit from strengthening their pelvic floor.