Shin splints and sore feet aren’t the only medical maladies that confront marathon runners. Bladder problems like urine leakage can also beset them.
Consequently, researchers at Loyola University (Chicago) Health System will study the relationship between the endurance sport and pelvic-floor disorders, which includes urinary stress incontinence.
Urinary stress incontinence is the involuntary leakage of urine that occurs with physical activity as simple as sneezing, to pounding the pavement. Stress incontinence occurs more often in women than men, and is often caused by weakened muscles that surround the bladder or urethra.
Researchers believe that the additional stress that occurs during a marathon can cause urinary incontinence during the race — or later. Pelvic-floor strengthening exercises called Kegels may help runners prevent urine leakage.
Marathon runners should also limit their liquid intake, avoid diuretics like tea and coffee and schedule bathroom breaks.
Tip: When in doubt about your ability to stay dry, don a pair of dark, moisture-wicking shorts or tights. If possible, wear an extra long-sleeved tee that can be tied around the waist for coverage upfront and behind. See a physician if your leaky bladder persists.