Bladder Pressure & Urgency Suck.
They happen for A LOT of reasons.
The 90,000 foot view is that if the bladder is functioning ‘normally’, it will fill gradually, up to about 12-14 ounces. When it is ‘half full’ it ought to send a small signal, which we ignore…then it keeps filling, until it’s actually full-ish, at which point it sends us a gradually building signal to pee, which we eventually listen to. We pee, cycle resets, and viola, life is good.
BUT, when the badder becomes ‘in charge’ rather than the brain, (maybe we’re anxious or nervous or just ‘hyper-aware’ of it), problems arise. The bladder begins to overexcite and respond HUGELY to the first signal at half-full. That signal is supposed to be small, right? But now it’s not–it’s big and we have all sorts of bladder pressure and urgency.
First step is to understand “What’s Normal” for the bladder. Check out this video on my main webpage, for deeper insight into bladder norms. Fill out a bladder diary to track how you’re doing. Join my mailing list for free guidance in the bladder diary!
Once we have a better insight, we are better able to cope with the pressure & urgency. Here’s 3 tips to manage those symptoms, when they do occur.
3 Tips to Manage Bladder Pressure & Urgency when they happen:
Whatever you are doing. STOP. Rapid movement or anxiety will make the pressure or urgency worse.
2. Squeeze JUST your lowest stomach muscles. Up & In, then relax. 5 times in a row.
Picture ‘lifting’ your bladder up and away from your pelvic floor muscles but try to keep your pelvic floor muscles and your rectum RELAXED as you do this.
The most common cause of leakage after an urge, is that the pelvic floor muscles are TOO TIGHT all the time, then we try to squeeze them MORE to stop the urge…and they fail and we leak, and we are sad pandas.
This rapid, alternating, lift and lower of the bladder 5 times in a row, uses a natural ‘turn-off’ switch to calm your bladder down.
Do NOT SQUEEZE YOUR PELVIC MUSCLES HERE UNLESS YOU KNOW YOU CAN RELAX THEM. Until you do a self assessment through Pelvic Floored Online Streamable Courses, or see a pelvic PT in person, I don’t trust you to use your pelvic floor muscles to do this quick flick.
3. Gently hold tummy up and in, keep pelvic floor muscles relaxed, and WALK calmly to the bathroom
Picture the muscles of the deep tummy lifting your bladder up and away from your irritated urethra and pelvic muscles. RELAX your pelvic muscles and walk calmly to the bathroom.
And 2 Things to NEVER DO!!
1. Clench legs and RUN to the bathroom
News Flash: Your legs don’t help with urethral closure. Crossing them only increases tension in the pelvic floor. And rushing to the bathroom only increases anxiety and reinforces the brain’s idea that it is ‘the most important.’
2. Pee “Just In Case”
We should pee, on average, every 3-4 hours, for 10 seconds or more. If we start leaking, and get nervous, and the bladder gets a bit testy, we maybe accidentally start listening to the early urges, and voiding before the bladder is really full.
This is a problem, because now instead of filling at 12 ounces, it fills at 8 ounces. And now, instead of a first signal at 6 ounces, we get an abnormally elevated signal at 4 ounces….then we empty at 4 ounces and our bladder shrinks, ‘functionally.’
Peeing “Just in Case” reinforces this pattern, and like a toddler in a candy shop who has learned that if they cry, they get candy, when you listen to that early signal, you tell the bladder that it’s okay to be aggravated.
Thanks for Reading!
If you’re suffering from bladder pressure & urgency, you are not alone! 80% of humans will have a pelvic floor dysfunction that is common, but not normal!
There are real life exercises and daily life modifications that I (or another pelvic PT) can likely help you with!
Check out my Pelvic Floored Signature Lecture Series for in-depth training of how your current pelvic floor musce status could be contributing to your pain, incontinence, constipation, pelvic organ pressure, or sexual dysfunction complaints. The program includes 12 mini lectures, and 12 progressive exercise programs that I developed based upon current research, as well as my 16 years of experience in pelvic health. You can stream them as often as you’d like from the privacy of your home
A full pelvic floor physical therapy program, for less than the price of one standard in person PT evaluation!
What other motivation do you need? Did I mention that for every 4 courses I sell, I will donate one to a person in need, through my People Before Profits Program. I am so proud of this. By buying my program you are not only helping yourself (or your loved one), but also someone in need.
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