Constipation and your Pelvic Floor Muscles
Constipation and your pelvic floor muscles:
By: Dr. Jasmine Polk, PT
Constipation can be influenced by various factors, including dietary choices, hydration levels, physical activity, and underlying medical conditions. One significant aspect that can contribute to constipation is the function of the pelvic floor muscles.
The pelvic floor muscles are a group of muscles located in the pelvic region that play a vital role in supporting the organs in the pelvis, maintaining continence, and controlling bowel movements. When these muscles become weakened, stretched, or dysfunctional, it can lead to a range of issues, including constipation.
Here's how the pelvic floor muscles and constipation are related:
1. Inadequate relaxation: The pelvic floor muscles need to relax properly to allow for easy passage of stool. If the muscles are excessively tight or unable to relax adequately, it can hinder the normal movement of stool through the rectum and contribute to constipation.
2. Ineffective muscle coordination: The coordinated action of the pelvic floor muscles and the abdominal muscles is essential for efficient bowel movements. Weakness or poor coordination between these muscle groups can disrupt the normal mechanism of stool expulsion, leading to constipation.
3. Rectal prolapse: A weakened pelvic floor can result in a condition called rectal prolapse, where the rectum protrudes from the anus. This condition can make it difficult to fully empty the bowels and contribute to constipation.
4. Postpartum constipation: Pregnancy and childbirth can place significant stress on the pelvic floor muscles. After giving birth, some women may experience weakness or dysfunction in these muscles, which can contribute to constipation.
If you're experiencing constipation related to the pelvic floor, there are several strategies that may help:
1. Pelvic floor exercises: retraining the pelvic floor muscles through targeted exercises can help improve their function and alleviate constipation.
2. Relaxation techniques: Learning relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing and relaxation exercises, can help relax the pelvic floor muscles and promote smoother bowel movements.
3. Dietary modifications: Ensuring an adequate intake of fiber-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, can help soften the stool and improve bowel regularity. Additionally, staying hydrated by drinking enough water is crucial for maintaining healthy bowel movements.
4. Regular physical activity: Engaging in regular exercise can stimulate bowel motility and promote overall bowel health. Activities like walking, jogging, or swimming can be beneficial.
TOP TIPS TO HELP REGULATE BOWEL MOVEMENTS:
Try to have a bowel movement the same time each day, our colon likes a routine!
Drink something warm to help stimulate gut motility
Abdominal massage can help to also stimulate gut motility
Consume approx 25 g of fiber per day
Use the Squatty potty to help with toilet positioning
Drink enough water! When we are dehydrated our bodies pull water from the colong
If you're experiencing chronic constipation or if the symptoms persist despite these measures, it's important to consult a healthcare professional or a pelvic floor specialist for a comprehensive evaluation and individualized treatment plan. They can provide specific guidance and interventions tailored to your needs.
If you are looking to consult with me to see how pelvic PT can greatly improve your toilet time, send me a message or reach out by phone! I look forward to working with you
Thank you for reading this blog post. It is my hope that everyone learns to
LOVE PELVIC HEALTH!
Dr.Jasmine Polk, PT