Breast Cancer Related Dysfunction
Fecal incontinence refers to the involuntary loss of bowel control, resulting in the inability to control the passage of stool. It can be caused by various factors, such as weakened pelvic floor muscles, nerve damage, or certain medical conditions. Physical therapy can play a significant role in managing fecal incontinence and improving bowel control. Here’s how physical therapy can help:
- Pelvic floor muscle training: Physical therapists specializing in pelvic health can assess the strength, coordination, and endurance of your pelvic floor muscles. They can provide specific exercises to strengthen these muscles, known as pelvic floor muscle training or Kegel exercises. Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles can improve the control and coordination of the anal sphincter muscles, leading to better bowel control.
- Biofeedback: Physical therapists may use biofeedback techniques to help you gain awareness and control over your pelvic floor and anal sphincter muscles. Biofeedback involves using sensors to provide visual or auditory feedback on muscle activity, helping you learn how to properly engage and relax the pelvic floor muscles and improve bowel control.
- Bowel retraining: Physical therapists can guide you through bowel retraining techniques to establish a regular bowel routine and improve bowel control. This may involve setting a consistent schedule for bowel movements, adopting proper positioning on the toilet, and using relaxation techniques to aid in the passage of stool.
- Dietary modifications: Physical therapists can provide guidance on dietary modifications that may help manage fecal incontinence. They can advise on fiber intake, fluid intake, and foods that can help regulate bowel movements and promote regularity.
- Education and behavioral modifications: Physical therapists can provide education on proper bowel habits and lifestyle modifications, such as managing constipation, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding foods or drinks that can worsen bowel symptoms.
- Functional exercises and movement strategies: Physical therapists can assess your movement patterns, such as lifting techniques or body mechanics during daily activities, and provide guidance on proper movement strategies to reduce stress on the pelvic floor and improve bowel control.
Our skilled team of pelvic floor physical therapists will perform a thorough evaluation to identify areas of impairment that are contributing to your symptoms. Following the exam, your physical therapist will work with you to create a plan of care that best suits your personal goals and needs.