Leaking while exercising – Tips for runners who leak

Urinary leakage is common in women who run after having had children.

 

Whilst it is common it should never be classified as normal. Leaking is a symptom, a sign that your body is not managing to adequately cope with or control the forces that are being imposed on the bladder within the pelvis.

This kind of issue is often left untreated as it is embarrassing and a very personal area to discuss. Women often don’t know who to turn to for help. So, women either run on regardless wearing a protective pad or give up running.

Neither are ideal solutions to the issue.

Correct postural alignment, breathing, dynamic core stability which includes the pelvic floor and lower limb control all needs to be addressed in managing urinary issues with running. All of this needs to be functioning in tune like a well-rehearsed orchestra.

Here are a few tips that can make a difference when running.

1 – Alignment

Ideally we should have a stacked posture where the head and shoulders are balanced over the trunk, hips and knees and ankles.

Your chest/rib cage should maintain a neutral position, with you in a slightly leaning forward from the ankles with your eyes looking to the horizon.

Postural alignment

2 – Breathing

The diaphragm is part of the “core”. If you can’t breathe correctly then the rest of the core, which includes the pelvic floor is compromised. Breath holding, chest and abdominal gripping strategies will increase pressure through the bladder.

Female Urinary Tract
Illustration of muscular bladder wall

3 – Stride length

Over striding can create up to 9 times your body weight through your bladder, shorten your stride and halve the forces.

 

4 – Hormones and weakness

If you have recently had a baby or are breast feeding, then the connective support tissues in the pelvic girdle remain soft and may not provide support to your bladder. If this is the case, you may need to back off running until you return to you pre pregnancy hormonal status and strengthen your tissues.

 

If you continue leak when running be brave and consult a women’s health physiotherapist to review your situation. For appointments CALL 02 4732 5188

 

 

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