Constipation is a common problem that many people experience. Some studies show that over 32% of the world population is going to be dealing with constipation at some point in their lives.
As it relates to pelvic health, it can be a significant contributor to other issues that people may be experiencing. If you’re dealing with pelvic pain, bladder leakage, urgency, frequency, pelvic organ prolapse symptoms, all of those things can be affected by or caused by constipation.
The good news is that there are some easy, natural things you can do to help make sure that you’re
having good bowel movements. First, what constitutes a good bowel movement? It’s normal for
people to go anywhere from three times a day to three times a week. It’s not necessary for you
to have a bowel movement every day to be considered normal. What we look at is has there
been a significant change from what you previously did? Consistency of bowel movements is also really important. We want to have soft logs, not super mushy or on the flip side hard pellets.
Tips for Managing Constipation:
- Get more fruits and vegetables in your diet. Fruits and vegetables are great sources of fiber which helps to bulk up our stools and keep things moving along.
- Drink a hot beverage. Hot liquids, especially caffeinated ones can stimulate bowel movements.
- Get active. Aerobic exercise and movement especially of the trunk can get bowels moving.
- Get on a schedule. Bowels like consistency and habit, so try to go at the same time each day.
- Toilet position matter. Sit all the way down and get your knees up higher than your hips. Use of a squatty potty for proper positioning can be really helpful.
- Abdominal massage. Massage in small circles following the path your large intestine takes can be helpful. Best to partner with someone like a pelvic physical therapist to show you how to do this one.
- Drink adequate fluid. Especially if you are trying to increase your fiber, you also need to increase your fluid intake to avoid feeling bloated and uncomfortable. Seventy-five percent of what you drink should come in the form of plain water.
As pelvic physical therapists, we love helping people to find rapid, natural, long lasting freedom from pelvic health problems like constipation. No one should feel like their bowels are running their life.
If you are experiencing constipation and have not found answers, it may be time to partner with a pelvic health physical therapist to help you figure out the root cause of your constipation and get you on the right path to better bowel movements. Want to talk with a pelvic PT to see how we can help you with your constipation? Fill out this simple form and someone from our office will be in touch shortly.