Constipation impacts almost everyone at one point or another in their life. Roughly 4 million people in the United States are currently being treated for this diagnosis. However, this number is likely not a true representation of how many are having challenges because only 3 out of 5 individuals who struggle with it chronically, have mentioned it to a medical doctor. Many individuals have come to think that because they have always been at the same regularity, that must be their normal.
Constipation is more than a person’s regularity. The definition of constipation has to do with the bowel consistency and ease of passing too. Therefore, constipation could be: struggling to empty bowels completely, only going once a week, passing a hard stool, or having to strain to initiate or complete a movement. Hemorrhoids and anal fissures are usually a good indication that someone has been dealing with constipation.
There are many reasons for why someone may be struggling with constipation. Habits related to diet/nutrition are usually the first go to, with fiber supplements being widely over prescribed as treatment. However, pelvic floor dysfunction, hormones, gut health, water intake, and motility of the bowels can impact and be correlated to constipation. Treatment of constipation can’t always be corrected with adding extra fiber. Additionally, if your doctor’s solution to treating chronic constipation is a daily laxative, that is simply just a band-aid for an issue and can cause further complications and dependence.
In pelvic floor therapy, constipation is something we often treat as an adjunct to what the person is coming in for to begin with. However, it can also be the reason you seek out care. Chronic constipation can be painful and frustrating. It also can lead to feelings of tiredness, sluggishness and irritability.
Think of the pelvic floor as the "gate keeper" for your stool. In order to easily, and completely exit your body, your pelvic floor has to have proper muscle tone and coordination. If the muscle tone is too tight or your muscles aren't relaxing and contracting when appropriate, constipation can follow.
Seeking out care by a pelvic floor occupational or physical therapist who has experience with treating constipation should be your next step if diet or water intake alone has not significantly helped with your constipation.
Here at Vital Pelvic Health and Wellness, our PTs and OTs exclusively treat pelvic floor dysfunction and help men, women and children suffering with constipation every day at our clinic! We understand the frustration and isolation that comes with having difficulty with your bowel movements - we understand, and we can help.
If you are local to Ohio or Western PA, visit our website or call our office at 330-259-8006 to work with our expert team of pelvic floor therapists to get the help you deserve.
If you aren't local, don't worry. Our founder, Paige Genova, works with patients virtually all over the world. Learn more HERE.
Better bowel movements are possible!