As we continue our week focusing on pelvic health…let’s talk about bowel dysfunction! It is something that most people have experienced at some point in their life, but no one talks about it. Bowel dysfunction can cause changes to the pelvic floor muscles and can lead to incontinence, pelvic pain and pelvic organ prolapse. Here are a few tips to help keep your bowels moving. Share them with a friend!
Do not skip breakfast! One of the best times of day to have a bowel movement is 30 minutes after your first meal. Eating a high fibre breakfast and a hot drink like warm lemon water will stimulate your bowels.
The more we move the more our bowels move. Try a 30 minute walk every day. If walking is not your thing, hike, bike, swim! Just get moving!
Knees above Hips
Sitting properly is key to a healthy bowel movement. Use a footstool to get your knees above your hips. Rest your feet flat on the stool, knees apart and elbows resting on your thighs. Do not squat above the toilet seat as this will cause your pelvic floor muscles to contract. Sit and relax!
Blow as you Go!
Many people with bowel dysfunction hold their breath and strain. This causes the pelvic floor to contract making it harder to have a bowel movement. Instead try a couple of deep breathes or purse your lips and “blow out as you go” if you need an extra little push.
Don’t Ignore the Urge
Life gets busy but ignoring the urge to have a bowel movement will cause the stool to dry out and can lead to constipation. You should go within a few minutes of feeling the urge.
The ILU abdominal massage can help to get food moving through your intestines and help with constipation. Talk to your pelvic health physiotherapist about learning the ILU massage!
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