On Nov. 11, the TH featured an article by Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen about urinary incontinence. While I do not disagree that this is a common issue men and women face, I found their solutions to be lacking.
They recommend everyone perform Kegel exercises for your pelvic floor muscles to treat urinary incontinence. First and foremost, many people are unable to perform Kegel exercises correctly and might need assistance to “find” the right muscles. More so, there are different types of muscle fibers in the pelvic floor that need to be trained differently. It’s not “one size fits all” as they claim.
Secondly, there are many people whose pelvic floor muscles are actually too tight or tense, and performing Kegel exercises can make the problem potentially worse. These people need to learn how to relax their pelvic floor muscles, not tense them.
And thirdly, they make no recommendations for pelvic floor physical therapy, which is a well-researched way to treat urinary incontinence.
In fact, in a study by Neumann et. al. in 2005, they recommend pelvic floor physical therapy should be a first-line treatment approach for this condition, as it is low cost and has up to 80% cure rates. The Dubuque area has several highly qualified pelvic floor physical therapists and this should be promoted as a safe and effective treatment.