Constipation Relief through Physical Therapy: 7 Proven Techniques

Let’s talk about poop… or lack of…

That’s right, I’m here to talk about difficult bowel movements.

Constipation is defined differently depending on the individual and their definition of “regular” bowel movements. Generally, if you are someone who has two or fewer bowel movements per week, has to strain to pass a bowel movement, or you still feel you haven’t fully emptied your bowels, then you might be dealing with symptoms of constipation!

Physical therapy might not cross your mind as a solution to help with that pesky constipation issue, but there are a variety of techniques physical therapists can use to help improve your uncomfortable symptoms!

Here are some ways physical therapy can be beneficial for constipation:

Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation

Constipation can be linked to weak or dysfunctional pelvic floor muscles, which are an integral part of passing bowel movements. Physical therapists specializing in pelvic health can assess and treat these issues through exercises and techniques such as pelvic floor muscle training, biofeedback, and manual therapy.

Posture and Body Mechanics

Poor posture and body mechanics can be a contributing factor to constipation. Straining while lifting or even passing a difficult bowel movement can be difficult on your pelvic floor muscles and lead to pelvic floor dysfunction. A physical therapist can evaluate your posture and movement patterns and provide exercises and education to improve your posture and mechanics during daily activities, including sitting on the toilet.

Abdominal Massage/Visceral Manipulation

Apex has a group of DPT’s who are trained in visceral manipulation of the gastrointestinal system, helping to reduce feelings of bloating, abdominal pain/cramping, and keeping bowels regular. Click the link to learn more about this technique!

Breathing Exercises: Fruits and Veggies Aid in Recovery

Proper diaphragmatic breathing can aid in relaxation and coordination of abdominal and pelvic floor muscles, which can help control the overall function of the abdominal canister and aid in ease of bowel movements.

Core Strengthening

Strengthening the core muscles can improve abdominal pressure regulation, which is important for healthy bowel movements. Physical therapists can design exercises to target core muscles to promote improved bowel function.

Education and Lifestyle Modifications

Physical therapists can educate patients about lifestyle changes including dietary changes and fluid intake, which can help reduce constipation.

Pain Management

In cases where constipation is causing pain, physical therapists can provide pain management strategies to improve overall comfort.

It is important to note that the effectiveness of physical therapy for constipation depends on the underlying cause. It is essential to keep your Medical Doctor involved to help identify the root cause of the problem and move forward with the appropriate collaborative treatment moving forward.

At Apex Physical Therapy & Wellness, our experts are more than happy to help relieve symptoms and improve your quality of life.

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