Recent research has given hope to thousands of individuals suffering from Interstitial cystitis (IC) by providing them with simple yet powerful techniques, exercises and dietary changes that can be incorporated into their lifestyles that help control bladder pain. These changes are listed below and are easy to do. IC can be a baffling disease for many and many are unsure if they have urgency and frequency of urination or IC. If you are wondering whether you have IC or PBS the following symptoms are hallmark signs of individuals suffering from these conditions.
Signs and Symptoms
1. Pain in the bladder that gets worse when the bladder is filled.
2. You may feel like you have to urinate (urgency) all the time (frequency). Individual with IC/BPS can urinate up to 30 times per day whereas individuals with normal bladder function urinate 6-8 times daily.
3. Frequently there is pelvic floor muscles dysfunction that leads to painful sex for women and painful ejaculation for men.
4. Pain in the suprapubic area. This is the area above the pubic bone but below the belly button.
5. Many women complain about pelvic pressure and pain in the pelvic-hip and low back area.
6. Because of its chronic nature, frequently delayed diagnosis, and the lack of a cure, IC causes psychological and social problems that can affect family, work, and lifestyle: Catastrophic and negative thoughts thinking can be present. Many IC sufferers state they are in a state of depression.
7. Unable to sleep through the night because you have to get out of bed to urinate frequently.
8. Medical work up confirms Interstitial cystitis by typical clinical cystoscopic (glomerulations and/or classic Hunner’s ulcer) and histological features.
9. In men, pain around the penis or scrotum.
10. Dysuria pain with urination.
The recommendations listed below have been shown to work and help IC and BPS sufferers.
They are simple and can be incorporated into your everyday life. You must first check with your physician before implementing any of the techniques suggested below as they may not be appropriate for you.
1. Diaphragmatic Breathing- Place your hands on your abdominals and inhale deep into the abdominals allowing the belly to expand out into your hands without straining. Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. Try this for up to 5 minutes during a flare up and to help relax during stressful situations.
2. Quick Kegel Contractions- Breathing normally contract the pelvic floor muscles lightly for 2 seconds and then release for 2 seconds, repeat for a total of 20x. This exercise is particularly effective in calming the bladder and buying you an extra twenty minutes before your next bathroom break.
3. Warm Compress on the Bladder- Try using a heating pad or adhesive heat patch over the lower abdominals to help manage bladder pain by increasing the circulation and promoting general relaxation of abdominal muscles.
4. Stretching- Bladder pain is often exacerbated by compression or contraction of the abdominals particularly during prolonged sitting and standing in poor posture. Stretching the abdominals and hip and gluteal muscles on a regular basis will help with the secondary pain that results. Go to Renew-PT.com and download Stretches for Plevic Pain.
5. Distraction/Affirmation- Remember that “thoughts become actions”. Flare ups can be discouraging and often lead to catastrophic thinking and other self sabotaging thoughts and behaviors. Don’t underestimate the power of your mind, simply thinking about something else or a positive affirmation i.e. “I am in control of my bladder” or “I am pain free” can help to decrease pain and urgency, especially with “key in the door syndrome”.
6. Watch your diet- Avoid the following foods which are know to irritate the bladder. Alcohol, Tomatoes, Spices, Chocolate, Caffeinated and citrus drinks, High-acid food, Artificial sweeteners, salad dressings and lemons.
7. Get Your Pelvic Floor Muscles Working Right- If you are currently suffering from bladder symptoms such as frequency, urgency, and/or have experienced pain with sexual activity, please ask your doctor about pelvic floor physical therapy or contact a pelvic floor physical therapist in your area.
8. Drink WATER frequently and through out the day- Urinate that is concentrated and dark can irritate the bladder lining leading to more pain, urgency and frequency.
9. Try Biofeedback- Biofeedback helps you to visualize the pelvic floor muscles and how you are using them. For many IC/PBS sufferers this modality helps them to learn how to relax and release tension in the pelvic floor muscles.
10. Try Reiki Therapy- Reiki is gentle yet a quite powerful form of energy medicine. It helps increase the body’s relaxation response, leading to a calmer physical and emotional state which will help with the stress that is often felt by men and women who suffer from IC/PBS. At Renew Physical Therapy all of our physical Therapist are also Reiki certified.
Resources/ For Further Reading
1. Renew Physical Therapy NY, NY – Call 877-RenewPT and mention “IC Awareness” for a free 10 Minute Phone Consultation
2. Ending Female Pain, A Woman’s Manual, by Isa Herrera. www.endingFemalePain.com
3. Jerome Weiss MD -Study on Urgency-Frequency
5. Reiki Healing
Medical Disclaimer: The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this web site is for general information purposes only. Check with your Doctor before attempting any of the recommendations on this website. NEVER DISREGARD PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR DELAY SEEKING MEDICAL TREATMENT BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU HAVE READ ON OR ACCESSED THROUGH THIS WEB SITE. Renew Physical Therapy IS NOT RESPONSIBLE NOR LIABLE FOR ANY ADVICE, COURSE OF TREATMENT, DIAGNOSIS OR ANY OTHER INFORMATION, SERVICES OR PRODUCTS THAT YOU OBTAIN THROUGH THIS WEB SITE. If you are in acute pain and would like to have a physical therapy program developed for you for your condition please give us a call at 212-213-4660.