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Advise on Kegal Exercises

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  • Advise on Kegal Exercises

    I have been recently diagnose with Interstitial Cystitis and have done some research on self-help treatments and ways to help ease the pain.Someone suggested kegal exercises, have anyone tried it, and if yes how did you feel after?

  • #2
    I do Kegals all the time. I can't really tell you if they've helped, but I know they haven't hurt anything.

    The best way to actually KNOW you're doing a kegel is to practice while you are peeing. Stop and start your urine stream and hold it at least 10 seconds each time...let some go, stop again for 10 seconds, and do this til you empty your bladder. This way you can actually feel the muscles down there that the kegels help. Once you do it that way a few times you can start doing them all day long.
    *IC-- Summer 2004; PFD--October 2005
    *Fibro--Fall 2000; CFS-- Fall 2000
    *MPS--Fall 2000; Crohn's disease-- 1997*IBS,GERD, *Migraines, hypothyroidism, GYN problems *Degenerative Disc Disease/scoliosis

    Total Abdominal Hysterectomy--adenomyosis--9\08

    04/17/09 Crohn's disease almost killed me with a combo of extreme constipation from pain medications. My bowel ruptured, I almost died from peritonitis and spent several days in the ICU then more in a private room on the floor. If you have any questions about severe constipation from pain meds please don't hesitate to send me a message.


    • #3
      Kegels are excellent exercises used to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor. If your goal is to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, Kegels can be of benefit. This can help those with incontinence and other problems related to weak pelvic floor muscles.

      If you have pelvic floor dysfunction related to spasming pf muscles, however, doing Kegels may actually exacerbate the problem. In this situation the pelvic floor muscles are spasming, are in a state of strong contraction which shortens the muscles fibers and can cause pain. Doing Kegels only serves to strengthen the muscles and increase contraction (and pain!). With this type of PFD, the goal is to get these muscles to RELAX and therefore we need to stretch and thereby lengthen the muscles fibers. This can be accomplished through various stretching exercises and other methods. Physical therapists who specialize in PFD or are trained and experienced in treating patients with PFD can guide you through a variety of methods which can help pf muscles stretch and relax.

      You might want to check out the Guest Lectures Section of this website (link is at the top of this page). There are several discussions there regarding PFD.

      Ulcerative Colitis and IBS
      Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

      Retirement is great! Work is highly overrated!!!
      ---My dear hubby

      Never go to a doctor whose office plants are dead.


      • #4
        definitely learn to relax first

        I totally agree with Annie2 !

        I started seeing a new Urologist in November (it's now March) who sent me to a Physical Therapist. The PT had me do some Kegels while evaluating how my pelvic floor muscles were reacting to the contractions. She also used biofeedback to see if I could relax the muscles. When I thought I was relaxed... I was not. I had to keep trying to relax further and further to the point where I felt like I was about to fall asleep before my PF muscles were "relaxed". What an eye opener! I thought I was relaxed but I was far from it.

        My pelvic floor muscles were so tense that I could only do a few Kegels before my muscles failed to relax after each repetition.

        As my strengthening routine, I started out trying to do 6 or 7 reps, once a day but had TERRIBLE cramps a few hours later.

        I talked to my PT and we agreed that I should back off and just try to do them every other day.... I still had bad abdominal cramps.... I ended up settling on doing 4 reps every other day as my starting point. Another surprise - I thought my muscles were stronger than that ! I am so glad I finally went to a new urologist who sent me to the PT. I would never have guessed that part of my IC problem was my tense PF muscles. I didn't know they were so tense, but now after going to PT and experiencing improvement...I am beginning to believe it's a MAJOR part of my IC problem.

        I gues what I want to say is that if you already have tense PF muscles and you do Kegels you could end up causing yourself more pain. You might be like I was and not know that you have tense PF muscles.

        I know I still have a long way to go with my PT but it has helped me tremendously. Relaxing those fatigued muscles has decreased my urgency and frequency.


        • #5

          I have PFD and Kegals usually make things worse for me. Like the other poster I thought I was relaxed, but was not, and after intense Kegals my muscles went into a spasm. Elavil helps me a lot with this.
          FYI one of the reasons my PT said a urinary stream can be slow or hard to start is because the bladder is trying to contract but the pelvic floor muscles are in a spasm. This was real news to me.


          Meds: Melatonin 3mg @ bedtime if needed. Estrogen 1.5 mg troche and 0.1 mg Estrace cream.
          Diagnosis: IC, PFD (both in remission)


          • #6
            There is a great article called "To Kegel or Not to Kegel" written by a fabulous physical therapist that specializes in women's health, PFD, Pelvic Pain, etc. You can find the article and many other great articles on her blogspot:

            You may want to read some of the other articles below; they may be in the archived section of her blogspot.

            1. Pelvic Floor Therapy
            2. Dear Diary
            3. Trigger Trauma
            4. To Kegel or Not to Kegel
            5. The Elephant in the Refrigerator
            6. Sex, Lies, and Dyspar . . . Who?
            7. That's so . . . . . Stimulating
            8. Let's Go! Really Go!
            9. Language Barrier
            10. PNE Paradox
            11. nICE & HOT
            12. Bladder Boot Camp

            I suggest that you consult with your healthcare provider if you believe that the information above may be helpful; your healthcare provider will determine the appropriate treatment regimen for you.

            Only your healthcare provider can determine if the above suggestions are appropriate treatment options for you; these are just some suggestions that you can discuss with him/her.

            The contents in this post are provided for informational purposes only. The contents are not intended in any way to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding your medical condition.

            Best wishes, ICB