Constipation can be uncomfortable and negatively impact our quality of life. Often overlooked, one significant aspect that might contribute to constipation is our pelvic floor muscles. Weak or uncoordinated pelvic floor muscles can result in ineffective bowel movements, leading to constipation. Before reaching for harsh laxatives or medications, consider the benefits of pelvic floor therapy. This article explores the connection between constipation and the pelvic floor, as well as offering tips on how to incorporate pelvic floor therapy into your routine.
Pelvic Floor Therapy For Constipation Table of Contents
Understanding the Pelvic Floor
The pelvic floor consists of muscles and connective tissue that support the bladder, uterus (in women), and rectum. It controls the opening and closing of these organs and plays a vital role in bowel and bladder function. When these muscles become weak or uncoordinated, they can't exert the required force or relaxation during bowel movements, leading to constipation.
Causes of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction in Constipation
Various factors can lead to pelvic floor dysfunction and contribute to constipation. These include:
As we age, our muscles naturally lose strength, and the pelvic floor is no exception. This can lead to a decrease in muscle tone and coordination.
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Women who have given birth may experience weakened or damaged pelvic floor muscles, especially after prolonged or difficult labor.
Pelvic surgeries such as hysterectomy or prostatectomy can contribute to pelvic floor dysfunction.
A sedentary lifestyle can lead to decreased muscle tone and weakening of the pelvic floor muscles.
Pelvic Floor Therapy Exercises for Constipation Relief
1. Basic Kegel Exercise
To identify your pelvic floor muscles, try stopping urination midstream. The muscles you tighten to achieve this are your pelvic floor muscles. Tighten these muscles, hold for a count of three, and then relax. Repeat ten times, at least three times a day.
2. Deep Squat
With your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, squat down as if you are sitting in a chair, as low as you can comfortably go. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds, then raise yourself back up. Repeat ten times, twice daily.
3. Bridge Exercise
Lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground, raise your hips off the ground while squeezing your pelvic floor muscles and engaging your gluteal muscles. Hold for 5 seconds, then lower yourself back down. Perform ten repetitions, twice daily.
Pelvic Floor Therapy For Constipation Example
Consider Alice, a 54-year-old woman struggling with constipation after undergoing a hysterectomy. She experiences difficulty with bowel movements and often strains, resulting in discomfort and decreased quality of life. After consulting her doctor, Alice learns about the connection between her constipation and pelvic floor muscles. She starts incorporating pelvic floor therapy exercises into her daily routine and begins to notice a significant improvement in her bowel movements and overall wellbeing.
Pelvic floor therapy offers a natural and effective solution for constipation relief without relying on laxatives or medication. With the right exercise routine, you can significantly improve your bowel function and enhance your overall wellbeing.
If you found this guide to pelvic floor therapy for constipation helpful, please feel free to share it with friends and family who might also benefit. Remember to explore our other articles on pelvic floor therapy for even more useful information and techniques to improve your pelvic health.