Named for the physician that developed this exercise, the Kegel exercise strengthens the pelvic floor muscles to reduce or eliminate urinary incontinence.
Childbirth, aging, trauma are all causes for the pelvic floor muscles to weaken and sag.
But it is not necessary to put up with urinary incontinence. It can be controlled. Just like any exercise, it builds strength and so the related organs are properly supported.
I think one hard part for many patients is to be able to identify the muscles and be able to isolate them so they can exercise properly.
It’s not like arm or leg muscles that you can watch to see if you are moving them and how well.
And as their nurse, it’s not like you can determine if they are being effective.
The following videos give some good tips on figuring out this particular difficulty. Pass on this information to your patients.
A second difficulty is as with all exercise. Finding the motivation to do it until results are seen. It may take several weeks for your patient to notice a difference.
Many people are unaware that not only women have this issue. There are men that could benefit from the exercises as well. This next video addresses the male anatomy.
Obviously while your patient is in the process of resolving this problem, it would be wise to use an Attends or other type of incontinence pad or brief to prevent having any embarrassing accidents.
When discussing this with your patient, try to avoid the term “diapers”. It can be seen as insensitive and demeaning to an adult that is otherwise alert and oriented.