Roughly 42 million Americans suffer from constipation issues. It is one of the most common gastrointestinal diseases (GI) that can be treated with physical therapy as an alternative to medications, suppositories, enema’s and even botox. At Zion PT, a pelvic floor specialist can work with individuals to correct bad habits and to retrain the pelvic floor muscles how to work in order to have a bowel movement pain free. Many of my patients are surprised to learn they have been going to the bathroom incorrectly for years; they are shocked at the relief they find once they make a few corrections to their basic voiding habits. One of the most important parts of going to the bathroom is your posture while sitting on the toilet. Here are some tips to improve your setup:
Sit with knees above hips and legs wide apart--you can invest in a squatty potty or just use a stool or even the waste basket on it’s side to rest your feet on to raise the hips
Lean forward and place elbows on thighs, keep a straight line from your head to your tailbone avoiding any slumping or rounding of the back
Gently bulge your abdominals while widening your waist
Never strain or hold your breath! You can grunt, groan or even sing to help further relax your pelvic floor muscles
Proper potty posture is just one part of being able to defecate pain free in a timely manner. Working with a pelvic floor specialist at Zion, like myself, can help relax muscle spasms and train patients in appropriate breathing patterns to help decrease pain and improve defecation. Constipation can impact everyone at some point in their life, don’t let it become your life!
By Brooke David, DPT