A Hop, Skip and a Jump May Just Help Women With Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence affects millions of American women. It is a quality of life condition that can lead to embarrassment, anxiety, and even depression. Conventional treatment is medication, exercises, and surgery. Now a new study from Canada has shown that dancing may strengthen the muscles in the pelvis and help control urinary incontinence.
Women were provided a series of dance exercises via a video game console in addition to a program for pelvic floor muscles exercises. The results revealed a greater decrease in daily urine leakage than for the usual program (improvement in effectiveness) as well as no dropouts from the program and a higher weekly participation rate (increase in compliance).
According to the researchers, fun is a recipe for success. The researches suggested that the more you practice, the more you strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. The investigators quickly learned that the dance component was the part that the women found most fun and didn’t want to miss.
The dance period also served as a concrete way for women to apply pelvic floor muscle exercises that are traditionally weak an ineffective to help hold the urine in the bladder until it is convenient to empty the bladder in a toilet. Dancing gives women confidence, as they have to move their legs quickly to keep up with the choreography in the video game while controlling their urine. They now know they can contract their pelvic floor muscles when they perform any daily activity to prevent urine leakage. These exercises are therefore more functional.
This is the first time that it has been used to treat urinary incontinence.