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Prehabilitation Exercises to Reduce Prostate Cancer Incontinence Risk

Published by Sagar Luthra
Prehabilitation Exercises to Reduce Prostate Cancer Incontinence Risk

Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers among men, and treatment for this condition can sometimes lead to urinary incontinence. Fortunately, through the development of 'prehabilitation exercises'  the muscles of the pelvic floor can be strengthened to reduce this risk. In this blog, we'll explore into the significant benefits of these exercises for patients undergoing prostate cancer treatment, offering valuable insights into how they can improve quality of life and promote continence.

Understanding Prehabilitation Exercises

Prehabilitation exercises, also known as prehab exercises, are designed to strengthen muscles and improve overall physical condition before surgery or other medical treatments. In the context of prostate cancer, prehabilitation exercises focus on strengthening the pelvic floor muscles, which play a key role in bladder control.

The Benefits of Prehabilitation Exercises

  • Improved muscle tone: Prehabilitation exercises can strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, improving their ability to support the bladder and control urination.
  • Enhanced recovery: Patients who perform prehabilitation exercises before prostate cancer treatment may experience faster recovery times and better outcomes.
  • Reduced incontinence risk: By strengthening the pelvic floor muscles, prehabilitation exercises can help reduce the risk of urinary incontinence after treatment.

Prehabilitation Exercise Techniques

  • Pelvic floor muscle training: This involves contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles to improve their strength and coordination. Kegel exercises are a common type of pelvic floor muscle training.
  • Core strengthening exercises: Strengthening the core muscles can also support the pelvic floor muscles and improve bladder control.
  • Aerobic exercise: Regular aerobic exercise, such as walking, swimming, or cycling, can improve overall fitness and support the pelvic floor muscles.

Tips for Performing Prehabilitation Exercises

  • Consult with a healthcare provider: Before starting any exercise program, consult with your healthcare provider to ensure that the exercises are safe and appropriate for your condition.
  • Start slowly: Begin with gentle exercises and gradually increase intensity and duration as your strength improves.
  • Consistency is key: To see the benefits, it's important to perform prehabilitation exercises regularly, ideally daily.
  • Listen to your body: If you experience pain or discomfort while performing prehabilitation exercises, stop and consult with your healthcare provider .

Promoting Continence in Prostate Cancer Patients

In addition to prehabilitation exercises, other strategies can help promote continence in prostate cancer patients:

  • Maintain a healthy weight: Excess weight can put pressure on the bladder and worsen incontinence. Maintain a healthy weight through diet and exercise.
  • Avoid constipation: Constipation can also put pressure on the bladder. Eat a high-fibre diet and stay hydrated to prevent constipation.
  • Practice bladder training: Bladder training involves gradually increasing the time between bathroom visits to improve bladder control.

Prehabilitation exercises, especially pelvic floor muscle training, can play a vital role in reducing the risk of urinary incontinence in prostate cancer patients. By strengthening the pelvic floor muscles and adopting other continence-promoting strategies, such as maintaining a healthy weight and practising bladder training, you can improve bladder control and enhance your quality of life during and after prostate cancer treatment. Talk to your healthcare provider to learn more about prehabilitation exercises and how they can benefit you.