You just never know what kind of support will show up when you start a conversation about light bladder leakage. While attending an event last week, I met Dr. Stacey Francis, a chiropractic kinesiologist in Southfield, Michigan. Since I'm always on the lookout for new ways to manage LBL, I asked, "Does the work you do help women improve light bladder leakage?" (Yes. I'm that bold!) "Light bladder leakage has been a frequent complaint of several of my patients," said Dr. Francis. She told me about a woman who came to see her for chronic right hip pain. Dr. Francis found a pelvic muscle imbalance and corrected it. A few weeks later the patient returned, thrilled that her hip pain was 90% improved, and the LBL she was experiencing was gone. "I asked why she never told me she had bladder leakage in the first place, and she told me that she didn't think a chiropractor could help with that," said Dr. Francis.
While structural misalignment isn't the only contributing factor for LBL, it can be a culprit. Muscles pull on bones. "Have you noticed that dentists are always leaning over in only one direction? Keeping muscles at a set length for long periods allows them to adopt that length and pulls the structure into distortion," she said, "When you sit all day at your desk, go to the gym to ride a stationary bike for an hour, then drive 40 minutes home and sit on the couch to relax for the rest of the night, you're training certain muscles to be short, pulling on the bones they are attached to." Chiropractic Kinesiologists, like Dr. Francis, isolate and test muscles to determine imbalances. Corrections of rotations or compressions of the bones in your spine can instantly strengthen a previously weak muscle allowing it to get the nerve supply it needs to function optimally.
I asked Dr. Francis, "What can women do to improve their alignment and LBL?" Here's a few of her suggestions:
- Strengthening the butt muscles and keeping the muscles of the back of the leg, the front of the leg and the front of the hip at their optimal lengths is an important part in maintaining your structure. Squats are a simple and effective way to strengthen your butt muscles and keep this system aligned properly.
- Increase alkalinity in the body with mineral-rich foods like nuts and seeds, and dark leafy vegetables. Also limiting acidic foods like dairy, meat and grains can increase the body to a healthy pH.
- Take a mineral complex at night, when you absorb it best, to replenish depleted stores of magnesium.
- See your friendly chiropractic kinesiologist, doctor of physical therapy, or work with a skilled pilates or yoga instructor, and don't forget to squat.
What about you? What helps you to manage LBL?