Weak urinary muscles (sometimes referred to as spastic bladder, or overactive bladder) is a condition that affects many people today. If you are one of the many people who have this condition, here are 4 tips to manage your symptoms to help you live your life to the fullest.
Weak Urinary Muscles: What is it?
A weakened muscle results in a change in the strength of the bladder. This can lead to overactivity (spasticity), and symptoms such as:
- Uncontrollable sudden urge to urinate, or urinary incontinence
- A feeling that the bladder is full which leads to frequent bathroom trips
- Pelvic pain associated with straining
- Bladder leakage or issues with bladder control
Weak urinary muscles are also associated with an inability to fully empty the bladder, which can lead to urinary retention. Some patients even have problems voiding completely, and need help to urinate.
Differences from an overactive bladder
Overactive bladder (OAB) is a condition that causes the bladder to contract harder than normal, leading to frequent urination. This can lead to symptoms such as:
- Urgency to urinate, which can be very uncomfortable
- Problems sleeping because of the pain associated with urination (known as Nocturia)
- Leaking of urine at night (which is normal) or bed wetting (which is not normal)
Many people have labeled their symptoms as overactive bladder, but it is important to be aware that there are two different conditions here. Weak urinary muscles are simply a result of decreased strength in the bladder, while overactive bladder is due to a lack of control of bladder contractions.
Regardless of the cause, the symptoms of both conditions will require similar management, and it is up to you to pick the right treatment.
Some people may have symptoms that are present with overactive bladder, but their symptoms do not respond well to medication. Let’s take a look at some tips on how to manage the symptoms of weak muscles.
1) Kegel exercises
Kegel exercises are a good way to strengthen the bladder and urinary muscles. These exercises can be performed with or without the use of a special device called Kegel balls. These basic exercises can help to strengthen your muscles and may help to improve conditions pertaining to urge incontinence.
The exercises are very easy to perform. You can practice them in the comfort of your own home, if you are comfortable doing so. The key is to do these exercises frequently, and do not stop following up with them after the initial period.
Kegel exercises can be performed while lying down, sitting or standing. You should squeeze and release the muscles that control the flow of urine. The goal is not to push out urine, but rather to contract these pelvic muscles intermittently without straining.
If you are using the Kegel balls, they should be squeezed during the contraction of the muscles. When you are ready to stop, hold your breath for a few seconds, and then release all of your muscles. You can repeat this cycle multiple times, depending on how many days you are able to practice.
2) Diet tips
Diet plays an important role in the management of weak urinary muscles. A good diet will ensure that you are getting all of the nutrients that your body needs.
You should include foods high in fiber, such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains. These foods will help to promote regular bowel movements, which is essential for proper bladder function.
If you have a weak bladder, you should also eat foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals. Vitamin B6 is important for proper muscle function, and certain types of diet can be helpful to support a healthy bladder. Specific vegetables such as beans contain a type of fiber called guar gum, which can help to promote healthy muscle function.
You should also avoid foods high in caffeine and sugar. Caffeine can cause a sudden increase in urine production. Sugar can cause blood sugar levels to drop, which can lead to increased urination.
3) Physical activities
Regular exercise is very important for healthy bladder function. Physical activity has many benefits, not only to help with the symptoms of weak urinary muscles, but also for overall health and well-being. If you are unable to exercise, you should try to make it a priority.
Some exercises include walking and working on your home treadmill or stationary bike. You can take small walks around the house or neighborhood, and even do some light yard work during the week.
4) Manage stress with relaxation techniques
Stress plays a large role in the symptoms that are associated with weak urinary muscles, both for individuals with overactive bladder, but also for those who have weak urinary muscles. We all experience stress from time to time, but if you are having problems with weak urinary muscles, your stress levels may be the cause.
You should try to reduce your levels of stress as much as possible. You can do this by learning relaxation techniques that you can use when you feel stressed. If you are one of the many people who try to avoid relaxation techniques, it is important to change your habits in order to manage your symptoms.
You can sit or lie down, and begin following a relaxing breathing pattern. You can breathe in slowly, and exhale slowly while tensing your muscles for about 5 seconds. Then relax the muscles again, while breathing in slowly this time. Practice this exercise several times, until you feel that your symptoms are under control.
Weak muscles can be a difficult condition to manage, and you may need to try different treatments before finding the one that works for you.
Overactive bladder is a very common condition that requires medication to help control your symptoms. If your symptoms are not controlled by medication, you should consult your doctor about the options that are available for treatment.
Weak muscles can be managed using diet and exercise, which can be very helpful to reduce symptoms. These simple strategies may help to improve your quality of life.
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