If you’re experiencing involuntary urinary leakage, dancing may be the answer to your bladder problems, according to a new Canadian and Swiss study.
Urinary incontinence is a common malady among elderly adults, especially in women between the ages of 70 and 80. Those suffering from incontinence are often encouraged to strengthen their weak bladder muscles through pelvic floor exercises, or kegels.
Published in Neurology and Urodynamics, this new study included 24 elderly women who performed dance exercises via a video game console designed to strengthen their pelvic floor muscles. Results showed that, compared to doing kegels alone, this physiotherapy program not only helped cut down on urinary leakage, but also proved to be fun. None of the participants dropped out of the program – in fact, compliance rate increased each week.
“Compliance with the program is a key success factor: the more you practice, the more you strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Our challenge was to motivate women to show up each week,” lead researcher Dr. Chantal Dumoulin of the Institut Universitaire de Geriatrie de Montreal said in a press release. “We quickly learned that the dance component was the part that the women found most fun and didn’t want to miss.”
Although the study had a very small population, the results from it could lead to a randomized clinical trial, paving the way to more effective methods to help elderly women gain better control of their bladder and live an active lifestyle.
“Dancing gives women confidence, as they have to move their legs quickly to keep up with the choreography in the video game while controlling their urine. They now know they can contract their pelvic floor muscles when they perform any daily activity to prevent urine leakage,” Dr. Dumoulin said.