Patient Info: Kegel Sphincter Exercises

Printable Version of This Topic

Rectal incontinence of a greater or lesser degree is a fairly common problem as we mature. As yet there is no operation that is totally satisfactory to correct this problem. Kegel exercises, as will be described, are often a great deal of help in improving, if not totally correcting this problem.

All human muscles, whether they be smooth or striated have four common properties, namely tone, strength, flexibility and endurance. The anal canal is surrounded by two sphincter muscles, an internal and an external sphincter. As we mature these muscles gradually loose their resting tone and the strength of the squeeze pressure. The Kegel exercises are designed both to improve these weaknesses.

In order for these exercises to be successful you need to put your entire focus on the muscle surrounding the anal canal. You must think of a finger sized cylinder in your anal canal and during the squeeze phase of the exercise, you are attempting to squeeze this finger sized cylinder, the size of a knitting needle.

This is how you do the exercise:

  1. Squeeze the anal sphincter muscle for 5 full seconds as hard as you can in the manner described above.
  2. Relax the sphincter muscle for 5 full seconds.
  3. Repeat this squeeze and relaxation 5 times in total.

This is one set of Kegel exercises. You must do at least 5 sets of Kegel exercises every day. The exercises can be done standing, sitting, or lying down.

The success of these exercises depends on your focus of the anal sphincter. There can be no short cuts as far as time is concerned.

<< Prior Topic | Start Page >>