What’s going on Down There?
Part 2 (Poo)
Nope. Not Australia. In your pelvis!
To review, the bony pelvis houses a few essential functions of our bodies. The 3 Ps: Pee, poo and pleasure. Or in medical terms, bladder, bowel and sexual functioning. These can be embarrassing topics that many people do not want to talk about, but they are common issues. However, these problems are not normal, but are quite treatable! Did you know that there are physical therapists (PTs) that specialize in treating conditions related to these functions?
The second P is poo , BMs, and the colorectal system.
Somewhere in the ballpark of 42 million Americans are continually backed up or constipated. Yikes! Symptoms of constipation are straining or pain with bowel movements, having fewer than 3 per week and/or feeling incomplete evacuation.
Simply explained, after our gastrointestinal system keeps what our bodies need from the food and fluid we ingest, it creates our stool, the waste product. This work is done in the large intestine, or colon. The end of this pathway is the rectum.
The rectum is a similar holding tank for stool, like the bladder is for urine. When stool enters the rectum, it should stretch it, and this sends a signal which our brains interpret as a need to go to the bathroom. Sometimes, this signalling doesn’t work quite right. Sometimes the signalling is functioning, and the pelvic floor muscles don’t know what to do to help push the poo out.
Again, this is where a pelvic floor PT can help! A pelvic floor PT can assess your pelvic floor muscles to see if they are performing their job of contracting and relaxing at the appropriate times. PT can also help with tips on positioning, as well as with nutritional advice in order to keep your GI system run smoothly.
Bowel movements should be fast and easy. If they aren’t, talk to your healthcare provider about your options and seek out a pelvic floor PT as part of your team!
An easy way to search for a pelvic floor PT is through https://ptl.womenshealthapta.org/