Ph101 Why is pooping so difficult?

toiletFiona McMahon, DPT

The number of Americans who deal with constipation issues is massive (4 million!)! It seems like every time I mention that I’m a pelvic floor physical therapist, another friend of a friend pulls me aside with bowel movement concerns. Why is it that so many people have issues? And more importantly – what can we do about it? This is the topic of our next Pelvic Health 101 seminar  on  March 30th at 7pm. 

Not only will constipation be discussed but other bowel conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, fecal incontinence, bloating and hemorrhoids will be addressed. The lecture will also go in depth on the role of fiber, water intake, toilet posture and pelvic floor muscles in having a successful bowel movement. You will even go home with easy techniques that you can implement immediately to help you get that smooth move! Don’t miss out on this FREE event – it’s a MUST for anyone who struggles on the porcelain throne. Seats are going fast!  Light snacks and refreshments will be served.

Register at pelvichealth-101.eventbrite.com  today.

Location

110 East 42nd Street, Suite 1504

New York, NY

10017

Check out or upcoming courses!

pelvic-health-101-spring-2017

BPPT Health Tip: Best Positioning Tips for Optimal Bowel Movements

By Sarah Paplanus, DPT, PT

Are you among the 4 million Americans who suffer from constipation? Or the 1 in 5 American adults with Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Do you occasionally experience the pain and itchy feeling associated with hemorrhoids? If so, the Squatty Potty or similar stool may be the perfect addition to your bathroom! Even if you haven’t been diagnosed with any of these conditions, it is important to note that straining or holding your breath to complete a bowel movement is never normal and is usually a sign of dysfunction. Colorectal medical conditions can vary in their cause, in their presentation and in their severity, but your pelvic floor muscles will always be affected.

null( Image via: squattypotty.com )

Anatomy!

 

Your colon carries waste out of your body, and where the colon meets your rectum is called your anorectal angle. This anorectal angle is an important factor in continence.

Your pelvic floor muscles work together to support the rectum, change the anorectal angle and control opening/closing. One of your pelvic floor muscles (the puborectalis) forms a sling around your rectum and works to maintain the anorectal angle. If that muscle is tight, it can essentially “choke” your rectum and contribute to straining.

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What does squatting do?

Squatting straightens the anorectal angle and helps to relax the puborectalis muscle, which helps to facilitate emptying. It also decreases the amount of pressure in the abdomen, which has been shown to decrease the time and effort needed for defecation. This all helps to reduce excessive pressure and strain on your pelvic floor muscles. In cultures where squatting is still prevalent for defecation, such as parts of Asia and Africa, it has been found that bowel movements tend to be more complete and that there is a decreased incidence of colorectal dysfunctions such as hemorrhoids, constipation and hernias.

Why is straining bad?

A principle of elementary mechanics states that “any system exposed to excessive pressures ultimately sustains injury”.These injuries can be in the form of a hemorrhoid, a hernia, a muscle strain or a chronic pelvic floor dysfunction. Straining also increases your risk of the Valsalva maneuver, which is exhaling against a closed airway. This causes a sudden increase in intra-abdominal pressure which can cause abrupt changes in blood pressure.

Toilet Posture

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Using a squatty potty, stool, or even two yoga blocks can help you assume a “squat” position. Lean forward and rest your elbows on your knees. Take deep breathes in, using your diaphragm. Place your hands on your belly and feel your breathe fill up your abdomen. Keep your mouth open and jaw relaxed!

Other Strategies to Improve Bowel Health

  • Cardiovascular exercise
  • Proper nutrition (see our previous post on fiber!)
  • Make sure you are drinking enough water
  • Relaxation training, diaphragmatic breathing

 

What to do if you are still suffering?

If the above tips are not helping defecate regularly and comfortably, you may be suffering from pelvic floor dysfunction. Pelvic floor dysfunction can occur when the muscles of the pelvic floor become too tight, weak, or both to do their job properly. Physical Therapy can help! Visit us at Beyond Basics Physical Therapy to help better your BM’s.

The School of Pelvic Health: Why is pooping so difficult?

By Stephanie Stamas

The number of Americans who deal with constipation issues is massive (4 million!)! It seems like every time I mention that I’m a pelvic floor physical therapist another friend pulls me aside with bowel movement concerns. Why is it that so many people have issues? And more importantly – what can we do about it? This is the topic of our next Pelvic Health 101 seminar.

Not only will constipation be discussed but other bowel conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, fecal incontinence, bloating and hemorrhoids will be addressed. The lecture will also go in depth on the role of fiber, water intake, toilet posture and pelvic floor muscles in having a successful bowel movement. You will even go home with easy techniques that you can implement immediately to help you get that smooth move! Don’t miss out on this FREE event – it’s a MUST for anyone who struggles on the porcelain throne. Seats are selling out fast so reserve your spot here.

All seminars will be held at Beyond Basics Physical Therapy in New York City and start at 7pm. A free “Healing Pelvic and Abdominal Pain” DVD will be given to first time guests, and $20 voucher for Beyond Basics Physical Therapy products will be given to individuals attending five seminars. Space is limited, so reserve your spot today!

Stool Science

By Riva Preil

You loved her talk about anatomy two weeks ago and you couldn’t get enough about bladder chatter last Tuesday.  Well, guess what… Stephanie Stamas is back for more! On Tuesday, October 28th, at 7 PM, Stephanie will teach the next class in the series of The School of Pelvic Health entitled Why is Pooping So Difficult.

This class is a MUST for anyone who lives, breaths, eats, and digests on planet earth.  Yes, that includes you.

  • Have you ever wondered what is the proper position for passing bowel movements?
  • Ever wonder how sitting on the toilet affects the pelvic floor muscles, the muscles that need to relax in order to pass a bowel movement?
  • Also, how much water should an individual drink and how much fiber should one eat?  Heck, what IS fiber and what foods are good sources of fiber?
  • Why do I have to strain to pass a bowel movement?  Is that normal?

Don’t let these questions bother you any longer.  Stephanie will address these and many other related issues.  She will explain the proper muscle coordination required to pass a bowel movement and she will teach practical techniques that can be implemented immediately.

We look forward to meeting and greeting you on Tuesday evening, and we hope you continue to enjoy Stephanie’s classes!

Love Your Colon: Part I

By Riva Preil

Anyone who has ever experienced constipation knows how uncomfortable this condition can be.  It is important to eat adequate fiber (please refer to previous blogs for details), drinking eight cups of water each day, and participate in exercise regularly.

It is also important to consider the anatomy involved with normal defecation.  The large intestine, also referred to as the colon, is one of the final legs of gastrointestinal trip.  Think of the colon as an upside down “U” consisting of three parts: the ascending colon, the transverse colon, and the descending colon (refer to picture).  Normally, the stool passes from the small intestine to the large intestine, where it travels through all three portions of the colon, from ascending to transverse to descending colon.  Once the stool completes its passage through the descending colon, it stores in the rectum until the rectum “feels full”, at which point in time the individual can pass a bowel movement through the anus.  The colon is a one-way street, so to speak, and the stool (especially if hard and firmly formed) may require assistance being transported through the three portions of the colon.  The “ILU (or I Love You) Massage,” is a self-help technique that many find beneficial in treating constipation.  Why is it called the I Love You massage?  How do I perform this technique?  Stay tuned to the next blog for the answers to these questions…