Kegel Exercises for MenJuly 25, 2012 Written by JP [Font too small?]
To some extent, symptoms of an enlarged prostate plague the majority of older men. In fact, if you’re male and fortunate enough to live a long life, you can almost certainly count on more frequent trips to the loo at night. Unfortunately, this isn’t the only potential consequence of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Many senior men also experience urinary urgency during their waking hours. What’s more, conventional and natural remedies don’t always provide satisfactory relief. But, Kegel exercises or Kegels are a free, safe and well researched option which work in conjunction with other treatments to greatly improve urinary dysfunction in this rapidly growing population.
A weak urinary sphincter is usually found in men with BPH, which prevents normal bladder contraction and function. Kegel exercises help to strengthen muscles that lie beneath the bladder which are essential for normal urinary control. Identifying the muscles in question can be accomplished quite simply by slowing down or stopping the flow of urine during urination. Once the exact muscles are located, one can contract them at any point during the day or night. In general, a set of 10 Kegels 3 to 4 times daily, is recommended. More detailed instructions can be found in the first three reference links below.
It’s important to note that Kegel exercises are serious medicine. Studies in numerous, prestigious medical journals report that Kegels improve bladder function and quality of life in patients with a variety of bladder disorders. The publications indicate that daily Kegel exercises benefit everyone from children with “daytime wetting” issues to men who have undergone radical prostatectomies. There’s also a long, positive track record for Kegels in women who develop urinary incontinence after childbirth or post-menopause. From my perspective, the primary stumbling block in the widespread implementation of Kegel exercises is the requirement for consistency. In order for muscles to strengthen and remain strong, you must exercise them as a course of habit. If Kegels are performed in this manner, the results can be quite predictable and pronounced. I highly recommend this underutilized practice to clients and anyone with issues relating to bladder control.
To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:
Study 1 - Kegel Exercises: Treating Male Urinary Incontinence … (link)
Study 2 - Kegel Exercises for Men: Understand the Benefits … (link)
Study 3 - The 4-3-2 Method for Kegel Exercises … (link)
Study 4 - Efficacy of an Assisted Low-Intensity Programme of … (link)
Study 5 - Effectiveness of Early Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation Treatment … (link)
Study 6 – Pelvic Muscle Rehabilitation in Males Following Prostatectomy … (link)
Study 7 – Managing Urinary Incontinence in Community-Residing Elderly … (link)
Study 8 - Impact of a Health Education Intervention in Overactive Bladder … (link)
Study 9 - Long-Term Efficacy of Simple Behavioral Therapy for Daytime … (link)
Study 10 - Pelvic Floor Muscle Retraining for Pediatric Voiding Dysfunction … (link)
Kegel Exercises Improve Post-Prostatectomy Incontinence
Source: Eur Urol. 2005 Nov;48(5):734-8. (link)
Tags: aging, Incontinence, Prostate
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Exercise, Men's Health