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Patient Education Sheet on Pelvis Dysfunction & Associated Urinary Incontinence


dThe pelvic floor (PF) and the bladder muscles work together but in an opposite fashion. As one contracts, the other relaxes. This automatic reflex system may be compromised due to:

  • Bearing down during pregnancy and delivery
  • Menopause/hormonal changes
  • Pelvic floor or abdominal surgeries
  • Continuous heavy lifting at work
  • Medication (e.g. diuretics, antidepressants, antihistamines)
  • Recurrent UTI (irritation of the bladder causes it to contract in an attempt to eliminate the burning urine)
  • Diet containing bladder irritants (e.g. Caffeine, artificial sweeteners, acidic fruit juices, carbonated drinks, alcohol, spicy foods, high quantities of sugar, lack of water consumption
  • Hysterectomy
  • Chronic constipation
  • Smoking
  • A chronic cough
  • The strain of being overweight

Pelvic Floor Muscle Retraining

sThe Elevator Exercise

Go up the elevator and hold each level for 5 seconds repeat 5 times at least 5 sets per day

d Retraining

Contract one second, rest one second, repeat five times, and complete at least 5 sets per day. Avoid performing the PF exercises during urination.

The biggest challenge with a daily exercise program is remembering to do it. It is often practical to combine the exercises with activities of daily living.

The PF exercises may be incorporated into the following activities:

  • Brushing teeth
  • Riding in an elevator
  • Washing dishes
  • Hand washing
  • Standing up from sitting
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • After voiding
  • Stair climbing
  • Watching TV commercials
  • Stopping at a red light or stop sign
  • … or when seeing the red dot!


Questions or Comments? hillside.physiotherapy.clinic@shaw.ca













Hillside Physiotherapy and Sports Medicine Clinic
1038 Hillside Ave. Victoria BC V8T 2A5