Ok. So. This might be a little TMI (too much info) for some of you. Up close and (maybe too) personal. But, here we go.
One of the things I’ve had trouble with since the stroke was incontinence. Not a lot. Just a little.
(Shhh, don’t talk so loud). ?
A few dribbles mostly. ? Not quite making it. Somehow something happens when your body sees the toilet, and you let lose right as you’re sitting down. It wasn’t anything big, but enough sometimes that I had to change my undies, and didn’t always trust myself in public.
I’d also sometimes have troubles at night making it to the toilet. And I’d taken to wearing a pee pad at night for the just in case scenario. Which was more often than not. ?
The thing nowadays is drugs to help control the problem. I didn’t want to go that route. Next would be herbs. But even that can upset the body’s natural balance. Something I didn’t want to do unless absolutely necessary.
So my thought from there was “Kegels” as a way to strengthen those muscles. Kegels are where you isolate the muscles you use to pee and flex them. It’s what they teach you oftentimes after childbirth to re-strengthen the pelvic floor.
I know they work from past experience, and I’d been doing kegels, but nothing changed. They weren’t helping. I was still leaking off and on.
Well, a few months ago, I added some new exercises to my routine. My stroke brain had finally kicked in and connected again with the muscles I needed to use to be able to stand without having to use my arms to push myself up (not quite there yet, but getting closer). So I went to the internet looking for ways to strengthen those particular muscles.
The muscles you use to stand up with are the glutes. Gluteus Maximus. Buttocks. ..Butt muscles.
Basically, the exercise was to sit and squeeze your butt muscles together. Not too fast. One every second or so. Slowly, to provide tension for the muscle to strengthen. 3-4 sets of 15 each day.
I also do the same sort of exercise to work my hamstrings. Sitting in a chair, I brace my feet against the legs and push/squeeze, which works the back of my thighs as well as the glutes from a different angle.
Well, in this last month or so, I realized I wasn’t having near the problem with dribbling as I used to. And I began to suspect it was directly related to these exercises.
So I began consciously tightening my butt muscles as I walked to the bathroom each time.
Sure enough…. yep, you guessed it… I wasn’t dribbling anymore. At all. I was able to control the urge and not let the waters flow of their own accord. ?
I find I don’t have to go to the bathroom quite so often either, which was another problem I’ve had since the stroke.
So, yea…. butt muscles. ?
I don’t know if this info is of use to anyone else, but I know a lot of pee pads are sold nowadays, so I imagine others struggle with it too. It’s pretty much unmentionable… but well, I’m mentioning it. ? Lol.
If you have problems with incontinence, then perhaps strengthening your glutes as I’ve described above can help. ? Worth a try.
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