View Full Version : Why Does Lifting or Exercise Cause a Flare?

10-18-2008, 08:13 AM
I have been keeping a pain journal.
As I look back, it never fails that when I do anything that involves lifting, or squatting (cleaning out the boilerroom after a water leak), I get weeks of
"10" level pain in my urethral burning.
I just don't understand why?

10-18-2008, 09:32 AM
Me too! I have been doing pretty well for the past several weeks and all of a sudden this week my pain has returned. I realized today that I worked out 4 or 5 days this week, so now my bladder hurts. Its very frustrating. I feel like I can't do anything.

10-18-2008, 10:12 AM
I am in the same situation. I work in the fitness industry. Thankgod I teach yoga and it is gentle and I lead the class, so my class depends on my bladder pain.

I do know I also lead a fitness weight and band class, and anytime I involve strenious work to the abs, or lifting heavier weights....my bladder is DONE/sore....ugh.

Just today I said to my husband I am so frustrated with my bladder pain, and how it effects everything I do. I thought I had it all under control and then I try to get back to a normal lifestyle (including the ic diet), but meaning my work...and BOOM! gets me again....

I know right now it does not help that I am on my cycle.....as for me it is also very hormonal.....ugh!


10-18-2008, 12:31 PM
I am wondering if sweat and/or too much movement causes irritation of the bladder. Maybe it makes the lining shed faster?? This sounds like a complicated matter that maybe an IC doctor would have an answer for.

10-18-2008, 12:40 PM
I have had bladder issues for many years. But had minimal IC until about 4 months ago, then it got terrible. Some people have normal looking bladders, but still can have bad IC. They did a Potassium Sensitivity Test on me and I tested positive. I have IBS just like you.I am doing much better. I take Prelief before every meal, it helps with intestinal problems as much as it helps IC. Then I take the Elmiron by taking the caplule apart and put the powder in some water(1/2 cup or whatever you feel comfortable with) to drink it down. I don't want to take the capsule because it has some lactose. I follow the IC diet and take an Atarax in the evening. Many doctors feel the Elmiron and the Atarax help each other. Amazingly, I am feeling almost normal!!! So hang in there--it will just take some time.

10-18-2008, 01:30 PM
This is a great question! In fact, it is at the very top of my list of IC questions.

In the four months that I have had IC, the one thing that I know for a fact that causes me pain is any kind of physical activity. I can't do anything anymore without paying for it within just a few minutes with moderate to excruciating pain: just standing in the kitchen and cooking a simple dinner, or lifting wet jeans out of the washing machine, or making the bed, and especially going to the grocery store; all of these things make me hurt SO bad!!

Such simple things that I used to take for granted.

The doc did find cracked and bleeding lesions when he did the cystoscopy/hydodistention. So I am assuming that physical activity somehow causes further trauma to those lesions.

Unlike you KingofPain, my pain is not in my urethra; rather, my pain is directly in my bladder and radiates across my lower pelvic region.

And 1curly1, I can't move around long enough without pain to even break into a sweat...:(

This is my primary issue with IC: if anyone knows why physical activity causes IC bladder pain, please post an answer here!!


10-18-2008, 02:46 PM
My IC flares from anything that strains my back. I think it's due to my pelvic floor disorder.

10-18-2008, 04:23 PM
That is why for soooo many years I thought it was actually just my back killing me! I didn't realize it was my bladder causing my lower back to hurt so bad! Way back I remember that too much coffee or pop made my back hurt too. This must have also been bladder pain.

10-18-2008, 04:33 PM
Exercise provokes my symptoms as well. Sometimes, like right now, even standing and walking is unbearable.

I guess it is stress, physical and emotional that can make things worse.

10-19-2008, 03:24 AM
Many exercises put strain on the abdominal muscles, which include the smooth muscles of the bladder. About the only exercise I can do is walking. Wouldn't it be great if someone would publish an exercise DVD for people with interstitial cystitis!


10-19-2008, 03:47 AM
I just wanted to mention during my searches of information on IC....I was punching in different things in my search engine, such as ayuervedic diet,yoga, ic......(as I eat very much around the ayuervedic diet, and my exercise has always consisted of yoga), this search popped up something very interesting..... I came across a yoga instructor who actually has IC.

Her interview was very positive and so refreshing to read. Being a Hatha Yoga Practioner myself I felt very in touch with her interview and felt the positive energy she exudes. I will attach the link below, you should check it out, it is very informative and will give you a chance to maybe dabble in trying a little hatha yoga.

Here is the link....




10-19-2008, 03:05 PM
In order for you to move for any reason, you really use all your core muscles in addition to your legs, arms, hands etc.

If you ever have had a Cysto with Hydro you know that afterwardsyou can't left a mug let alone a whole box of something....you definitely will feel it in your whole midsection. Your whole torso really gets in on the action anytime you move in any way.

Anyways, just my 2 cents :D

10-20-2008, 10:52 AM
I work in a nursing home which envolves alot of heavy lifting, very tirering and alot of muscle straining. I asked my doctor if that type of work can make your bladder worse he said it shouldn't but stress does. I agree with him on the stress part but I know my type of work makes my bladder worse. Within an hour of me being at work all the muscles around my bladder tighten up. It's like im constently flexing the muscles but I don't know how to relax them again. It also always burns when I pee. When Im at home relaxing the burning isn't as bad and the muscles are more relaxed. I also used to work out my ab muscles every day before my bladder went to crap and now if i try to work out my abs it causes a flare. It sucks because my job pays really well which helps me pay for my meds but since it makes my bladder worse Im really thinking its not worth it and am looking for a new job.

11-02-2008, 11:01 AM
Thanks to all of you for posting....I just recovered from a flare caused by abdominal exercises and light weights. I thought I had eaten or drunk something that caused it. The IC network support forum is a blessing!

11-04-2008, 01:04 PM
when I was a recovery room RN we has to do a lot of lifting and turning patients. Yes it made me flare. Plust the patients could not help you as they were all sedated. For me not lifting patients anymore and not standing for a whole ten hour shift .......... resignining........ off on disability unfortunately my bladder is the best flare and pain wise in 23 yearss. My question is if I return back to work but at a lesser nursing job hopefully a desk job or part time 8 hours will my bladder return back to IC flare state and back into the fmla route again........... question for my uro I am still waiting on. Vicky

11-05-2008, 02:36 AM
VickyVale, hope you hear something soon. I work at a desk all day and so far, it hasn't caused me to flare. Has anyone with IC ever had the "sling" surgery for leakage? My first uro told me i didn't have IC and recommended I have the surgery to stop leakage.

11-05-2008, 03:38 AM
Exercise, Lifting, Housecleaning, grocery shopping (the list could go on and on) - all cause me to go into some type of flare. If I stop what I am doing as soon as I start to hurt (either in my lower back or abdomen) then I can usually settle things down with rest and heat - but if I continue to push myself (I am so bad at stopping - there is always just one more thing I want or feel like I must get done) then I am down for the count for up to a few days.

11-05-2008, 06:00 AM
VickyVale, hope you hear something soon. I work at a desk all day and so far, it hasn't caused me to flare. Has anyone with IC ever had the "sling" surgery for leakage? My first uro told me i didn't have IC and recommended I have the surgery to stop leakage.

well my former employer of 21 years was not going to help or provide me with a desk job that I could do even if I filed ada act. So, I was told yes told in certified letter return to previous job I knew I could not do or resign. If not resign then terminated I resigned. I was also in a union and paid 50.00 a month for union dues....... it did me no good. I would never work for another union nursing hospital again.

Right now Michigan is number 2 in unemployment . THere are no nursing desk jobs here. I would have to come off SS or trial work via SS and that would mean relocating. Vicky

11-06-2008, 04:30 AM
my doctor wants me to continue exercise so I don't have to be on alot of pain meds. I told him that after running, I can see blood in my urine. But anyway, I try elmiron and continue to exercise. I agree it does help me mentally, but it "hurts" :rant:

11-07-2008, 08:56 AM
Pudendal Nerve Entrapment


I know I have IC but keep having a LOT of lower back pain. I am wondering if I also have Pudendal Nerve Entrapment??? How does one tell the difference?? Or is there a difference?? I would love to have responses to this.

11-07-2008, 09:05 AM
I was in about an 8 month remission, not 100% but close. I went back to the gym for about 2 months and now my IC is back and hurts everyday. That is the only thing I changed in my life. I think now I will just have to diet to stay the size I want to :(