Constipation is a very common condition that affects people of all ages.
Women are twice as likely to be suffering from constipation and 40% of pregnant women experience constipation during their pregnancy. Constipation can mean that you are not passing stools as often as you normally do, you have to strain more than usual, or you are unable to completely empty your bowels.
The severity of constipation can vary greatly. Many people only experience constipation for a short period of time with no lasting effects on their health. For others, constipation can be a chronic long-term condition that causes significant pain and discomfort.
Common causes of constipation include:
- Not consuming enough fibre
- Lack of exercise
- Not drinking enough fluids
- Certain food intolerances
- Ignoring the urge to pass stools.
- Being underweight or overweight
- Side effects of certain medications e.g. calcium or iron supplements, anti-epileptics
Making lifestyle changes to address above risk factors can aid rectify the problem and help relieve many people’s constipation. However, if that fails, the source of the problem may be due to altered bowel mechanics. Assessing and addressing the pelvic floor can improve bowel function.
Physiotherapy is a very effective way of addressing your pelvic floor issues to aid reduce the symptoms of constipation and optimise your recovery. At LWF your specialist physiotherapist can help you address your constipation by:
- Advising on lifestyle changes such as fluid intake, diet and exercise
- Providing positioning advice
- Manual techniques to aid relaxation of sphincter muscles and abdominal muscles
- Pelvic floor strengthening exercises.
- Teaching of optimal bowel mechanics