It is a general assumption that athletic people must have a strong pelvic floor because they work out regularly, however this is often not the case. Any long-distance runner can confirm that running not only tests your mental and physical strength, but also the strength of your pelvic floor.
How does running affect my pelvic floor?
The pelvic floor is a key set of deep muscles situated in the pelvis. They run from the frontal pubic bone to the base of the spine. Shaped like a basin the pelvic floor holds the pelvic organs (uterus, vagina, bowel and bladder) in place and supports the bladder to provide control when you urinate. The pelvic floor muscles relax as the bladder contracts to let urine out and tighten in order to allow you to hold.
Regular running is in fact one of the risk factors that leads to pelvic floor damage, this is because when running our entire body takes the impact for a prolonged period of time. Every single stride puts pressure on the pelvic area, and the muscles of the pelvic floor are in charge of cushioning and protecting it. However, with time, excess pressure can cause the pelvic floor to weaken and 'give way'. It's important to keep your pelvic floor strong and healthy to avoid any problems.
How to reduce stress on your pelvic floor when running
- Mix up the surfaces you run on to avoid running constantly on hard surfaces. Try running on grassy terrain instead of roads or cement paths
- Reduce your stride length, running speed or distance
- Wear well-cushioned footwear when running
- Running downhill involves greater forces on your pelvis - so avoid this when possible
- Mix up your workouts - not only will this make running more enjoyable, but it will also alleviate some of the stress on your pelvic floor
How can I strengthen my pelvic floor?
The good thing is that it's never too late to train and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. If you are finding yourself leaking urine when running, it's fixable!
Suitable for women and men of all ages, INNOVO is the only truly non-invasive solution for urinary incontinence, and is used in the comfort and privacy of your home. Easy to use and comfortable to wear, INNOVO helps you safely and effortlessly strengthen and re-educate the entire network of pelvic floor muscles through gentle muscle stimulation.
Using INNOVO for just 30 minutes a day/ five days a week over 12 weeks has been proven to treat bladder weakness - delivering results in as little as 4 weeks1.
INNOVO treats Stress, Urge and Mixed Incontinence in both women and men by targeting the root cause of the problem. A clinical study found that:
- 80% of users saw a significant reduction in leaks after just 4 weeks1
- 87% of users were defined as either dry or almost dry after 12 weeks2
- 90% of users would recommend the therapy to others3
1 Soeder S, et al, A randomised, controlled, double-blind, clinical study to compare two neuromuscular stimulator devices in female stress urinary incontinence: Effects on symptoms and quality of life. IUGA Conference 2018
2 R. Dmochowski – Novel external electrical muscle stimulation device for the treatment of female stress urinary incontinence: randomized controlled noninferiority trial versus intravaginal electrical stimulation. ICS Conference 2018
3 Observational study on the treatment of stress urinary incontinence with Innovotherapy, April 2014