This photo taken on April 25, 2018 shows men in the 60-65 age category competing in the 100-metre hurdles during Thailand's first national Elderly Games in the northern Thai province of Nan. ( AFP / LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA)

Online posts falsely claim 'jumping high cures urination problems for elderly'

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Multiple social media posts have circulated in Thailand claiming "jumping high for about 15 to 20 times" cures difficulties in urinating for elderly adults. These posts are false. Health experts told AFP the purported remedy is "100 percent wrong" and "extremely dangerous" as it could lead to injuries in elderly people.

The claim was shared here on Facebook on October 15.

The lengthy Thai-language post begins, "Older adults, if you can't urinate, what should you do?" 

Screenshot of the false post, captured on November 10, 2021

The post tells the story of a 70-year-old doctor with difficulties in urinating. The doctor purportedly met an old colleague who recommended the remedy to him.

"Stand up, jump high as if you were picking mangoes from a mango tree. Jump for about 15-20 times", the post states.

"He didn't believe in it at first. Once he did it, he was able to urinate."

"He was able to treat the problems with an easy solution without even having to go to the hospital and torment himself with a catheter injection, or medications."

Identical posts were also shared here, here and here on Facebook. 

However, these posts are false.

"This claim is 100% wrong, it is not proven to cure or relieve the condition," Dr Akarathan Jitnuyanont, director of Thailand's Institute of Geriatric Medicine under the Ministry of Public Health, told AFP on November 10.

"The elderly, both men and women, who are unable to urinate should seek professional help to find out what is the reason for your urinary retention."

Multiple conditions cause difficulties in urination in elderly adults, Akarathan explained.

"Doctors will able to find out what are the reasons for your urinary problems and treat them properly, which could include a urinary catheter or surgery." 

Dr Kavirach Tantiwongse, a urological surgeon and assistant professor at Chulalongkorn's Faculty of Medicine, also refuted the claim in the posts.

"Jumping is not the appropriate treatment for old people  who have difficulties in urinating," he told AFP on November 11. 

'Extremely dangerous'

Jumping high could also be "extremely dangerous" for elderly adults, Dr Akarathan warned.

"Older adults could fall and injure their arms or legs," he said. 

Dr Kavirach also explained, "Older adults who have poor balance could fracture their bones. They could feel dizzy and fall if they do that."

The false claim was also debunked by the Thai fact-checking service Sure And Share Center here.