Legacy Physical Therapy 2961 Dougherty Ferry Road Saint Louis, MO 63122
Call: 636-225-3649 Fax: 888-494-7074 Email: info@legacytherapystl.com

Posts Tagged ‘Legacy Physical Therapy’

3 Reasons Why Kegels may not be working for you

3 Reasons Why Kegels may not be working for you

Are you experiencing bladder leakage? Have you tried kegels exercises, but are not noticing any improvement in your bladder leakage?

Many of our patients ask when they come to see us… “aren’t you just going to teach me how to do Kegel exercises? I have already been doing those exercise and they are not helping.  I am still leaking so what are you going to tell me that’s different.”

I am going to give you 3 reasons why Kegel exercises may not be helping your bladder leakage.

First, a brief explanation:

A Kegel exercise is the Layman’s term for a contraction of the pelvic floor muscle. When our pelvic floor muscles contract, they lift up and into our body and they close off around the urethra, vagina, and anus preventing pee and poop from coming out. These muscles are working all day for us but they need to work extra hard in situations where there’s more the load through the pelvis such as when we cough, laugh, sneeze, jump, run, or lift. Therefore, if a person is experiencing bladder leakage, they are told by their doctor, or they read in a magazine that they should be doing Kegel exercises to stop the leakage.

 

REASON #1

You maybe doing the exercise incorrectly. Research studies have shown that of women who are told to do Kegel exercises, about 40% of them are doing the exercise wrong. They think they are contracting the pelvic floor muscles but they may actually be pushing out on the muscles instead or using all together different muscles.

 

REASON #2

Your pelvic floor muscles might be too tight instead of too weak. A tight, tense muscle is not a muscle that does its job effectively. A muscle needs to be able to contract relax and move. Some women keep their pelvic floor tight all day long and they do not even realize that they are doing it. If the pelvic floor muscles are already too tight, doing more Kegel Exercises, tensing the muscle more isn’t going to help. You need to first learn to relax the pelvic floor and teach it how to move better before you can strengthen it.

 

REASON #3

Your leakage might not be a strength issue at all. It might be a timing issue. You may not be recruiting the muscles at the right time. You may need to work with someone to help you figure out how to get the pelvic floor muscles to contract at the right time. Many women can do Kegel exercises just fine when they are laying down or sitting still, but when they have to coordinate them with other movements the timing goes out the door.

So if you are experiencing bladder leakage and have tried Kegel exercises and they don’t seem to be working, it may be time to partner with a pelvic health physical therapist to help you figure out the root cause of your leakage and get you on the right path to dry days.

Bladder Leakage: It’s Common, NOT NORMAL

Bladder Leakage: It’s Common, NOT NORMAL

Stress Urinary Incontinence

Today, I want to talk about a specific type of bladder leakage called Stress Urinary Incontinence. One in 3 women will experience bladder leakage at some point in their lifetime and although it is common, it is not normal. Let me reiterate that…

Bladder leakage is not normal. Not when you exercise. Not when you sneeze. Not after you have had a baby. Not when you laugh. Not when you are post-menopausal. Not when you lift. Bladder leakage is never normal. It is a sign of dysfunction in our core support system.

Stress incontinence happens when physical movement or activity — such as coughing, sneezing, running or heavy lifting — puts pressure (stress) on your bladder. Stress urinary incontinence is often a result of weakness or poor recruitment patterns of the pelvic floor muscles.

With stress incontinence you may experience urine leakage when you:

  • Cough
  • Sneeze
  • Laugh
  • Stand up
  • Get out of a car
  • Lift something heavy
  • Exercise
  • Have sex

Amount of leakage can vary from a few drops to a complete emptying of bladder. Some people experience the bladder leakage with many different activities and for others it is limited to a single activity type.

Treatment for Stress Urinary Incontinence

Stress urinary incontinence is probably one of the most common things that I see here at my practice. The good news is that it respond really well to conservative treatment and simple changes that you can make in your daily routine.

Contrary to what the Poise commercials want us to believe, the treatment for stress incontinence is not buying the latest, greatest absorbent pad or diaper.  Instead, most people report a significant improvement in their leakage with training for their pelvic floor muscles. Many times stress incontinence is a result of weak pelvic floor muscles.

Not sure if your pelvic floor muscles are weak? See if you can stop the flow of urine mid stream. When you contract your pelvic floor muscles (AKA Kegel exercise) you should be able to get the stream to stop completely. If you can’t, then this is a sign that your pelvic floor muscles may be weak.

Word of caution… do not repetitively start and stop your flow of urine as a exercise. This can mess up the normal mechanisms for completely emptying your bladder.

One of the tips I tell people to do if they are having leakage with a cough or sneeze is what we called “The Knack.” It is a little precontraction of the pelvic floor to brace for the load of that is going come from the pressure of the cough or sneeze. If you have warning that a cough or a sneeze is going to happen then stop where you are and contract your pelvic floor to brace for the load.

If you are experiencing stress incontinence, know that you are not alone and there are things that you can do to make a difference. Partnering with a pelvic physical therapist can be a great option. They can help you identify your pelvic floor muscles and come up with a rehabilitation program specific to your individual needs and goals.

What is Pelvic Organ Prolapse?

WHAT IS PELVIC ORGAN PROLAPSE?

Have you ever felt pressure or bulge in your vagina? If that’s the case then you may have something called pelvic organ prolapse.

WHAT IS PELVIC ORGAN PROLAPSE

So first and foremost what is Pelvic Organ Prolapse? Our pelvic organs are sitting in the bowl, that is our pelvis and our pelvic organs are our bladder, urethra, uterus, vagina, rectum and anus. Prolapse of these organs is a dropping or tipping down of these organs and most commonly, they tip into the vaginal canal.

This can happen to just one or many of these organs at one time. The bladder can tip back into the vagina. The rectum can tip forward into the vagina. The uterus itself can fall down into the vagina. Even if you have had hysterectomy, you are still at risk for having a prolapse of the vaginal vault  itself, where the vaginal canal can start to tip in on itself. This condition has many potential symptoms that go along with it and that is because the symptoms often times go along with what organ is prolapsing.

 

SYMPTOMS OF PELVIC ORGAN PROLAPSE

So what are some of the common symptoms of Pelvic Organ Prolapse?  The symptoms you experience really depend on which organ is prolapsing.

  • Pressure or fullness in the pelvic area
  • Visible bulge in the vaginal canal or protruding outside of the vagina
  • Low back pain or ache in your low back that is not going away
  • Pain with intercourse
  • General feeling like something is falling out of the vagina
  • Urinary issues such as bladder leakage, difficulty starting the stream, feeling like you are unable to empty all the way, or feeling like your always have to go
  • Bowel issues such as constipation, difficulty evacuating the bowel movement, or a change in your ability to have a bowel movement
  • Some spotting or bleeding from the vaginal canal

 

CAUSES OF PELVIC ORGAN PROLAPSE

So in general, anything that puts increased pressure on the abdomen can lead to pelvic organ prolapse and many things can do this.

  • One of the most common risk factors of prolapse is pregnancy and childbirth. Pregnancy itself increases your risk of developing prolapse independent of if you deliver vaginally or via c-section.
  • Another risk factor is obesity. Carrying lots of extra load down through the pelvis over time is tough on it.
  • People who have respiratory problems are at greater risk for pelvic prolapse, because chronic long term coughing issues cause repetitive pressure through the pelvic area.
  • Being diagnosed and treated for any pelvic organ cancers increases your risk for developing pelvic prolapse
  • If you have had hysterectomy, which is removal of the uterus, you are actually at more risk for pelvic prolapse. Many women think that because they’ve had a hysterectomy, they are not at risk for pelvic organ prolapse anymore but this is incorrect. The surgery causes disruptions in the support structures the help hold up the pelvic organs and increases your risk for future prolapse of other pelvic organs.
  • Genetics also plays a role in whether or not a woman gets a pelvic organ prolapse. Some people are simply born with more laxity in their connective tissue and more give in their support structures which puts you more at risk for prolapse.

 

PREVENTION OF PELVIC ORGAN PROLAPSE

Unfortunately, many of the risk factors for a pelvic organ prolapse are out of you control, such as your family history, your age, whether or not you had a difficult vaignal delivery, and whether or not you have already had a hysterectomy. Those are things you can’t control but you can reduce your risk by making some changes.

 

Here are 4 things that you can do right now to make changes to helpfully prevent Pelvic Organ Prolapse.

  1. You want to make sure that you have a strong supportive pelvic floor. Remember that the pelvic organs are the fruit inside the bowl that is our pelvic floor. The pelvic floor muscles support the pelvic organs from below to reduce the stress and strain on the organs.
  2. You can maintain a healthy weight. Remember, obesity is a risk factor for pelvic organ prolapse. If you maintain a healthy weight, you take a lot of pressure off of your pelvic area.
  3. You can avoid smoking. Smoking affects tissue and can damage our tissues throughout our whole body so they don’t heal as quickly or aren’t as supportive as they could be. Chronic coughing that is often seen in smokers puts a more pressure through pelvic floor putting them more at risk for pelvic prolapse. Please try to avoid smoking and make sure that you are getting treated for any chronic coughing condition.
  4. You can maintain healthy bowel habit. We want to avoid constipation. If we’re having to do a lot of really forceful straining to have our bowel movement, that is repetitively putting a lot of stress down through our pelvic floor.

 

What is Pelvic Physical Therapy?

What is Pelvic Physical Therapy

Pelvic physical therapy is something that is unfamiliar to many people.  I would say for about every 10 new patients that come to see us here Legacy Physical Therapy, about 7 or 8 of them start out their evaluation by saying that they have never heard of Pelvic Physical Therapy and they are not sure how we can help them.

We are passionate about helping women & men of all ages enjoy active, healthy lifestyles, by restoring confidence and dignity in pelvic, bladder, bowel, and sexual function, without relying on medications or surgery. We provide conservative treatment options for many conditions that people may be unaware that they even can do anything about.

Conditions Pelvic Physical Therapy Can Help

  • Bladder Issues:
    • Leakage, Urgency, Frequency, Painful Urination, Urinary Retention
  • Bowel Issues:
    • Constipation, Fecal Leakage
  • Pain Conditions:
    • Back Pain, Pelvic Pain, Tailbone Pain, Sacroiliac Joint Pain, Vaginal Pain, Rectal Pain, Vulvar Pain, Abdominal Pain, Penile Pain, Painful Sex
  • Pelvic Prolapse Issue:
    • Cystocele, Rectocele, Uterine Prolapse, Vaginal Vault Prolapse
  • Pregnancy/Postpartum Related Issues:
    • Low Back Pain, Sciatica, Diastasis Recti, Clogged Milk Duct, Episiotomy or C-section Scar Tissue Adhesions

Many people are surprised to learn that all of the above conditions can be helped by pelvic physical therapy. One of the things that we commonly see happen is that a patient will be referred to us by their urologist for bladder issues. Then once we get talking with them, we find out that they also have some back pain or hip pain issues that despite treatment aren’t going away. We teach the patient how all everything can be related.

Aren’t You Just Going to Teach Me to Kegel?

One of the things that we get asked all the time is, “I’m already doing Kegel exercises.  It doesn’t help, why would coming to pelvic physical therapy help?” For those of you who don’t know a Kegel exercise is simply a contraction of the pelvic floor muscles like you are trying to hold back gas or pee.  Muscle function is not simply about contraction. We need to make sure that we have a variety of different movements with the muscles. Muscles need to be able to contract, relax, stretch, and coordinate with other muscles.  

As pelvic physical therapists, our job is to figure out how your pelvic floor muscles are working and coordinating with other muscles. We really take the whole body approach to looking at how things are coordinating together. It is never simply just about Kegel exercises. Those may be a part of your treatment plan, but it may not be. For some people, the problem is that they are doing pelvic floor muscle contractions or Kegel exercises incorrectly and that is actually causing more of the problem. For other people their pelvic floor muscles may be too tense or tight and trying to squeeze them more isn’t going to improve their symptoms. Instead, we need to actually teach them to relax and let go.

Pelvic PT Can Help Before or After Surgery

Another thing we hear commonly when we talk with patients on the phone is that I’m planning them to having the surgery so why would I need to see pelvic physical therapy. Our simple answer to that is if you’re planning on having shoulder surgery, neck surgery, back surgery, or knee surgery; 9 times out of 10, you’re going see a physical therapist either before or after the surgery to help make sure that you rehabilitate the muscles and that everything is working well together. Similarly, working with the pelvic physical therapist after you’ve had surgery for a bladder sling, prolapse repair, hysterectomy, or giving birth can promote return to optimal muscle function allowing you to have better, longer lasting surgical outcomes.

Pelvic PT Helps During Pregnancy & Postpartum

Females who have given birth are at a greater risk for pelvic dysfunction. Here at Legacy Physical Therapy, we feel strongly that every women should see a pelvic physical therapist for at least for 1 visit postpartum to identify any musculoskeletal issues that may be preventing her from improving her core and pelvic function postpartum. This should happened before she starts out with any type of exercise regimen, especially a high level one, to make sure that the pelvic and abdominal muscles are functioning the way that they should be. The therapist will also review movement patterns to make so she doesn’t develop any bad habits that will potentially lead to problems down the road such as bladder leakage or pelvic prolapse.

Pelvic physical therapists also work with women during their pregnancy. We help make sure that the pregnancy progresses as comfortably as possible and that you are able to be as active as you want to be. Pregnancy is a time that can be very stressful on the abdominals and pelvic floor because of the changes in your body. Working with the pelvic physical therapist to help you maximize pelvic and abdominal support and control can really make a big difference for a comfortable pregnancy.

You May Need Need to Advocate for Yourself

So now that you have learn a little more about what pelvic physical therapy is, you may be wondering why you haven’t heard of it before or why your doctor has not told you about it despite you mentioning some of the symptoms. Unfortunately, many doctors are unaware that pelvic physical therapy is an option out there to help their patients.  Even the ones who do refer to pelvic physical therapy already may not be aware of all of the different thing that we can be doing to help patients. Because of this, you may have to be an advocate for yourself if you feel like you need to see a pelvic physical therapist. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor for a referral to pelvic physical therapy.

If you feel like you’re dealing with any of these issues that we’ve been talking about, you may have to be the one to advocate for pelvic PT. You as a consumer, have the right to go wherever you want to go for your treatment. You do not have to necessary to go only to a place that is in your doctor’s office. You can seek healthcare from a pelvic physical therapist with whom you feel comfortable.

So, that is the brief introduction to pelvic physical therapy. If anything you have read about seems like something you are dealing with, give us a call at 636-225-3649. We are happy to chat with you about what  you are experiencing to see if pelvic physical therapy would be a good option for you.

10 Signs Pelvic Floor Dysfunction is Affecting Your Workout

10 Signs Pelvic Floor Dysfunction is Affecting your WorkoutSo this time a year a lot of times people resolution is to get healthy and workout more which is awesome. We see a lots of exercise routines and new workouts started but unfortunately sometimes that can bring to light a problem that people don’t know that they have … pelvic floor dysfunction.

 

Today I want to talk to you about 10 signs that pelvic floor dysfunction may be affecting your workout.

  1. You have Bladder Leakage when you run, jump do burpees, jumping jacks, jump rope, Push ups, Squats any physical activities. Leakage with Physical activity is not normal, “It is not a badge of honor to leak while you exercise” it is a sign of pelvic floor dysfunction and there’s something that you can do about it.

  2. Low back, pelvic, hip or a Abdominal pain with or soon after your workouts, “Pain should not be a part of your workouts.” Yes should be pushing yourself hard but there’s a difference between muscles burn and pain. And if you’re dealing with pain any of these areas it may be a sign that your core muscles are not functioning well together and you need to make a change.

  3. If you need to pee, pre and post workout then this is a sign that your bladder and pelvic floor muscles may not be function optimally, if you’re doing a 40 to 60 minute workout you should be able to make it without having to urinate before or after class.

  4. You are experiencing pelvic heaviness, pressure or falling out feeling during or shortly after workouts, This can be a sign that you are experiencing pelvic floor dysfunction and/or pelvic organ prolapse and it’s a definite sign you need to modify activities in order to performed at a level that your core and pelvic support muscles can function at appropriately.

  5. Your belly bulges out or pushes out especially when you’re performing abdominal exercises. You should be able to maintain a gentle belly pull in during the exercises. If you feel that your abdominal wall is pushing out or your back arching off the floor then “you are not using right support muscles to perform the exercise and you’re actually not going to get the same benefit out of it” This also is putting more pressure down through your pelvic floor area. It can be a sign of dysfunction.
  6. You need to pee mid workout. Again going back to number 3, you should not need  to pee before after or during workout and if it’s only 40 minutes to an hour long. So if you need to stop your workout to make sure that you don’t pee your pants then it’s a sign  that you probably have some bladder or pelvic floor issues that need to be taken care of.
  7. You hold your breath to complete an exercise. Whether you doing crunches, plank, squats, lunges, bridges or any type of exercise, “If you find that you have to hold your breath to complete those exercises that is using a pressure system to create stability vs thoroughly engaging your core support muscles well”.

  8. You feel that your form fails you or you get exhausted easily from your exercises. Again it’s can be a sign that your core support muscles are not working the way that they should be and your body’s trying to compensate with other areas but it’s not able to do so.
  9. “You skip part of your workout because you know you will have bladder leakage if you do it”, So if you are avoiding the double unders,  jump lunges, jump ropes,  jumping jacks or squats because you will know you will leak when you do them, then that is a sign that you have pelvic floor dysfunction. There is something you can do about it so that you can get back to doing your entire workout.

  10. You have gas leakage while performing your exercises. So if you cannot hold the fart in while your are exercising then this is the sign that your pelvic floor muscles are not performing optimally.

 

So we just went through 10 signs that pelvic floor dysfunction may be affecting your workout. How many of these applied to you? If they do, Don’t worry. There something that you can do!  Partnering with the pelvic physical therapist is one of the  best options that you can do to make sure that your pelvic floor and core muscles are performing optimally to get you back to your exercise routine. We want to help you reach those new year resolutions and goal that you would like to achieve. So if you answered yes to anyone of these 10 signs then we’d love the opportunity to work with you. You can give us a call @ 636-225-36-49 and we can get you setup for a free discovery session to find out if pelvic physical therapy is right for you.

10 Tips for Healthy Bladder

10 Tips for Bladder HealthToday I want to clear up of some common misconceptions about bladder health that we hear all the time. Do you know how to keep your bladder healthy and happy? Check out below to learn 10 simple tips for a healthy bladder.  

  • Do not push to pee. We are not designed to strain or push to empty our bladder. Women especially tend to be what I called “Power peers.” They go as quick as they can because they hurry to get in/get out out and get back to their day.However forcing or pushing to urinate puts more strain on our pelvic floor and bladder. We are designed “just to sit and relax and let the urine come out”. Take a moment sit down and let the flow happen vs trying to strain or push.
  • “To keep your bladder happy, you need to drink more water”. Most people, especially if they are dealing with bladder leakage, urgency or frequency will limit their fluid to reduce the amount of times that they have to go to the bathroom or that they leak. Unfortunately when we limit fluid it actually irritates the bladder. Concentrated urine is more irritating to the bladder, so we need to take in plenty water throughout the day to stay hydrated and keep the bladder happy. You can tell that you are drinking the right amount of fluids by looking at the color of your pee. Your pee it should be a pale yellow color. If it’s a dark yellow or even towards a brown side that is definitely a sign that you are not drinking enough water.

  • Sit down on the toilet. Many women hover over the toilet because they are worried about germs. However, “we are designed to sit down and relax to urinate.” If you are worried about germs on public toilets, then use toilet seat covers or line the seat with toilet paper, because we need to sit to empty fully.

  • Limit or avoid caffeine. Now this can be a sad one for lots of people. Don’t get me wrong I like my cup of coffee in the morning but “caffeine is a bladder irritant” and can cause increased urgency and frequency. If you’re dealing with urinary urgency and frequency the first thing I would recommend is to cut out caffeine. If you absolutely cannot cut it out then for every cup of coffee that you drink, you should also have a cup or 2 of water to try to dilute the bladder irritant.

  • Be gentle when you wipe. Our tissue down in there is delicate. Wipe front to back and potentially just dab to be even more gentle.

  • “Don’t ignore the urge to go”.  Our bladder communicates with our brain to tell it when our our bladder. This usually occurs every 2 to 4 hours. “Listen to your bladder”. When you feel that need to urinate and it’s been close to or over the 2 hour mark then go. If you are going more frequently than every 2 hours then you may be dealing with urinary urgency and frequency.

  • Squeeze before you sneeze. When we have warning that a sneeze, a laugh or a cough is coming we want to pre-contract our pelvic floor to brace and prevent bladder leakage. To contract your pelvic floor,  try to pucker around the anus or draw the vagina up and in. If you’re having through doing this or not sure that you are doing it right, then this is a great opportunity to connect a pelvic physical therapist to figure out how your pelvic floor muscles are working.  We need the pelvic floor muscles to be on and ready to accept that extra pressure that is going to happen when we cough, laugh, or sneeze.

  • When you finish peeing, rock side to side and back and forth on the toilet to funnel fluid down in the bladder to make sure that you are emptying completely. Rock ‘n’ roll on the toilet instead of trying push or strain to get that last a little bit of urine out.

  • “Don’t Rush”. Sit down, “Relax and let your body do it’s thing”. Rushing can prevent completely empty your bladder fully. While sitting on the toilet take 5- 10 deep breaths to help everything empty out fully. If you have trouble slowing down try setting a timer on your phone for 1 minute to get you to sit for a little longer.

  • Partner with a pelvic physical therapist. A pelvic physical therapist can help you evaluate your bladder habits and assess your pelvic floor muscle function. They can help you identify potential bladder problems and come up with a plan to address issues.

After reading these 10 tips for healthy bladder, how many are you practicing? Could your bladder use some healthier habits? We are here to help. Feel free to call us at 636-225-3649 to talk with one of Legacy Physical Therapy’s pelvic physical therapists to get your questions answered.

 

Give the Gift of Pelvic Health

Give the Gift of Pelvic Health

This holiday season we hope that you will help us give the gift of pelvic health. All too often at Legacy Physical Therapy we hear our patients say things like…

  • “I have never heard of pelvic physical therapy.”
  • “How come none of my doctor’s told me this was an option?
  • “Why am I just hearing about women’s health physical therapy now?”
  • “Every woman who has had a baby should see a women’s health physical therapist.”
  • “Why isn’t pelvic physical therapy recommended to all pregnant or postpartum women?”

Our goal is to spread the word about pelvic health. We want women and men suffering with bladder issues, bowel dysfunction, sexual problems, pelvic pain, pelvic floor dysfunction, and core weakness to know that they are not alone and there are options for treatment. We hope that we can count on you for your help.

Ways to Spread the Word about Pelvic Health and
Legacy Physical Therapy

  • Provide a testimonial for our website
    • In 2018, we would like to update our website with new patient stories in our testimonial section. You can greatly help us by writing, even anonymously, about your experience with our group. Email Us Here!
    • If you are like me, you might need a little help to get your creative writing juices flowing. Here are a few questions to get you started:
      • What kind of impact has it made on your life coming to Legacy Physical Therapy?
      • What was the reason that you came to Legacy Physical Therapy?
      • What goals have you accomplished at Legacy Physical Therapy?
      • What would your advice be to others who are thinking about coming to Legacy Physical Therapy?
  • Write  a review on Google or Yelp
    • Many patients find out about our services through the internet, so please help them get a feel for our facility by writing a review on Google or Yelp
  • Get social with us and review us on Facebook
    • Legacy Physical Therapy has a Facebook page where we love to share helpful pelvic health information. ‘Like’ our page and share our pelvic health information with your social circle. While you are there, leave us a review.
  • Tell your doctor about your success with physical therapy!
    • Your doctor would love to know that you are feeling better and achieving your goals. Please let them know about your success at your next appointment or by sending an email.
  • Give us feedback!
    • All feedback helps us improve our delivery of care, so please let us know if there’s something we are doing well or if there is something we can do better.

Happy holidays and cheers to a healthy New Year!!!

From the staff at Legacy Physical Therapy
Brooke, Jamie, Rosie and Abbie

10 Tips for Healthy Bladder

November is National Bladder Health Awareness Month. Earlier in the month we shared Ashley’s story about bladder leakage and her return to #LifeWithoutLeaks.  Today, we are sharing our top 10 tips for healthy bladder.

10 Tips for Healthy Bladder

10 Tips for Healthy Bladder

  1. Don’t strain or push to empty your bladder. Forcing urine out will put strain and stress on your pelvic floor and bladder.
  2. Drink more water. Limiting fluids actually irritates the bladder rather than helps it. Drink plenty of fluids (primarily water) throughout the day to stay hydrated and keep your bladder happy.
  3. Avoid the JIC or “just in case” pee. Going to the bathroom “just in case” can train your brain and bladder to think you need to urinate more frequently than you actually have to.
  4. Sit down on the toilet. Sitting all the way down on the toilet allows your pelvic floor muscles to fully relax improving your ability to empty your bladder.
  5. Limit or avoid caffeine. Caffeine can irritate your bladder causing increased urinary frequency or urgency.
  6. Dab, dab, dab. Our tissue “down there” is very delicate. Wiping front to back might make you feel clean and dry, but it’s abrasive and can be irritating to the tissue. Instead dab front to back.
  7. Don’t ignore your urge. Your bladder and brain communicate when the bladder is full and it’s time to urinate every 2-4 hours. Listen to your bladder (and brain). When you feel that sense to urinate (and it’s been at least 2 hours), then go!
  8. Squeeze before you sneeze. Don’t get caught off guard! Squeezing the pelvic floor muscles before you cough, laugh, or sneeze can minimize or eliminate leaks and dribbles.
  9. Rock and tilt on the toilet. Rocking your pelvis front, back, and side to side can help empty the bladder to get any last dribbles out.
  10. Don’t rush. Sit down, relax, and let your body do it’s thing. Rushing the process can prevent you from completely emptying your bladder.

We hope this helps you improve your bladder health! Here at Legacy Physical Therapy, helping people achieve and maintain healthy bladders is our specialty. If you are experiencing urinary leakage, frequent urination, and/or urinary urgency, feel free to give our office a call at 636-225-3649 to find out how we can help you.

Thank you for your generosity

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HELPING US HELP the HOUSTON FLOOD VICTIMS!!

Many of you know that our receptionist Rosie is from the Houston area and she continues to have many family members and friends still living in Houston who were greatly affected by the flood. When we learned that Rosie and her husband, Norbert were going to be heading down to Houston to help out we immediately organized a supply drive at Legacy Physical Therapy. We were overwhelmed by the generosity of our patients, friends, and family.

Rosie and Norbert rented a minivan and filled it with all of the donated supplies to drive down to Houston. We were very impressed with the packing ability! Tetris has nothing on Norbert!

Minivan full of relief donations

Besides all the supply donations, Rosie and Norbert also received $1600 in cash donations. They used this money to buy Home Depot gift cards to help people start to rebuild.

Home Depot gift cards

Once down in Houston they partnered with a church local to Rosie’s family’s neighborhood to help distribute items. According to Rosie the church workers did an amazing job and went above and beyond to get items to needy families. Many families lost their cars in the flooding so church volunteers took it upon themselves to drive supplies to those in need.

Church distribution center

Rosie said she was glad that she was able to go down and help out. She wishes she could have done more because she knows that there is still so much to be done for these families to get back to their normal daily lives.

From all of us at Legacy Physical Therapy, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all of your generosity. It is awesome to see our community come together like this.

 

The Importance of Sleep

Do you need more zzzz’s? Or just better quality sleep??

If you’ve answered yes to the questions above then keep reading! Adequate sleep is essential for good health. Having healthy sleep habits is referred to as good sleep hygiene. If you would like to have better sleep hygiene resulting in improved sleep, then consider following some of these sleep practices below:

  • Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. Easier said than done, but studies show that consistent sleep and wake times will help to set your natural biological clock.
  • Set the environment to promote good sleep. Use your bed for only sleep and sexual activity to help train your body that if you are in bed, you should be sleeping. Keep the temperature of the room comfortable. Avoid eating or working in your bed. Lower the light and noise in the room. Use earplugs or eye masks if necessary to drown out uncontrollable noise or light.
  • Avoid using light emitting electronics at least 30 minutes prior to bedtime. The blue light coming from your television, tablet, phone, etc. can disrupt sleep by suppressing melatonin production.
  • Exercise earlier in the day. Moderate or vigorous exercise should be done at least 2-3 hours prior to bedtime. Exercise stimulates the body and brain, making it hard to fall asleep. Regular exercise has been shown to improve sleep, so keep moving, just preferably not in the few hours before bedtime.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol or smoking 3 to 4 hours before bedtime. Nicotine in cigarettes acts as a stimulant that can make it difficult to fall asleep. Some believe that alcohol will relax the body before bedtime and help with sleep. Actually, it can increase the number of times you wake up during the night and make you wake earlier.
  • Create a relaxing bedtime routine for yourself. A relaxing routine may include taking a warm bath, deep breathing, meditating, guided relaxation, doing some light reading, or even a yoga or stretching routine.
  • Avoid heavy meals and fluids. Excessively drinking or eating a large meal 2-3 hours before bedtime to allow plenty of time for your body to digest.
  • Avoid taking daytime naps. If you have to nap, limit the time you sleep during the day to 30 minutes so you are tired enough in the evening.
  • Most everyone has the occasional sleepless night, but if you consistently have problems sleeping after trying to improve your sleep hygiene, it is best to contact your doctor or health professional.

Here’s to you getting more restful sleep. We find that for many people pain issues and/or their bladder may be a disrupting factor during the night. If you find yourself unable to sleep secondary to pain or woken up several times a night because of your bladder then give us a call to find out more about how we may be able to help! 636-225-3649