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Two Tips To Help With Chronic Constipation

Chronic constipation is often multi factorial meaning: there may be medical issues that need to be addressed, diet is likely a factor, but it can be a pelvic floor problem, too. For most of my patients it is a combination of these factors.


There are two things I educate my patients on to help them poop better.

  1. Push from your stomach and relax your pelvic floor muscles.

  2. Do colon massage.


A white toilet with the lid open, looking from above

Use your stomach not your pelvic floor to push.

This sounds insane, right?

Think about it this way: your pelvic floor is the door and you need an open door for the poop to pass through. If you are squeezing your pelvic floor muscles you are pushing against a closed door. It is going to cause a lot of strain and it isn't going to be very effective.

If you use your stomach muscles to push from above and push down and out the door, and you have to keep the door open (the pelvic floor muscles relaxed) then you can push the poop out.

In an ideal world you wouldn't have to push at all, it would just slide right out, but that is not how the body works in my patients with chronic constipation. We are working toward that, but in the meantime we have to use muscle strength to poop, just make sure it is the correct muscles.


Do colon massage

This is a light massage tracing the pattern of the colon, or large intestine (same thing). What you are trying to do is stimulate the colon to process what is in it to help stimulate the bowel to empty.

You aren't physically pushing the poop through so be gentle!

In a normal healthy gut there is something inside the colon called peristalsis which is muscles inside the gut contracting and relaxing to help push the contents through the gut. This is a very simple explanation.

If you are chronically constipated this process can slow down so we are just helping stimulate that process to occur.



Conclusion

The combination of these two things can really help people poop better. They aren't necessarily easy to do, but they work. Especially if you have been constipated for a long time the muscles are probably confused and it will take work to get the correct muscle pattern for pooping again. See a pelvic floor therapist, we can help you learn this correct pattern and get you pooping better!

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