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Bowel Dysfunction

Bowel Pain

Bowel Dysfunction


Constipation describes infrequent bowel movements or stool that is difficult to pass. Many people with constipation also complain of gas or bloating. The pelvic floor muscles play a key role in defecation, as they must relax in order for contraction of the abdominal muscles to push stool out. People who suffer from pelvic floor dysfunction may have difficulty relaxing their pelvic floor muscles, called dyssynergia, and as a result have more difficulty passing stool.

Pelvic physical therapy will help you learn to relax and coordinate your muscles. In addition postural, behavioral, and dietary changes may also be recommended. You will also be instructed in correct mechanics for breathing and ‘bearing down’. Biofeedback may be used to help you learn to control the movement of the pelvic  muscles.

Fecal Incontinence

People who suffer from fecal incontinence (FI) lack the ability to control defecation. As a result, they experience the involuntary release of bowel contents. This could be solid feces, liquid stool, or flatus (gas). Underlying causes of FI include pelvic muscle/sphincter weakness, nerve damage, and stool quality (either constipation or loose stool).

Most people with FI respond well to pelvic physical therapy, which can be as simple as dietary and behavioral changes along with pelvic floor muscle strengthening. In most cases fecal incontinence can be successfully managed, so there is no reason for you to live with this debilitating condition.

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