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Constipation: Your Pelvic Floor’s Nemesis

Oh hey, if you are here…you are probably having trouble pooping. I’ve got some tips to help you relieve that constipation, because constipation sucks.  As someone who has historically suffered from IBS, I know how crappy it can be (yes, a poop joke right out of the gate…I can’t help it).

Often, the only remedy given for constipation is to drink more water and eat more fiber. These tips are LEGIT. But also, pelvic floor function may be playing a part in your constipation struggles.

The pelvic floor is a bowl of muscles that holds our bladder, rectum (the poop shoot), and uterus where they belong. When you sit on the toilet, the pelvic floor muscles are meant to relax. This lets us release our bowels and urine. But sometimes, these muscles are chronically tight and have trouble properly letting go. Signs this may be the case:

  • Trouble releasing bowel movement.
  • A sensation of an “incomplete” bowel movement.
  • Thin or “pencil” like stool.
  • Difficulty starting your stream of urine.
  • Leaking urine or stool.

Okay, so let’s talk about how to fix it.

1: First and foremost, go see a pelvic floor physical therapist. Here is a link to find one. A pelvic floor physical therapist will assess your pelvic floor function and coordination.

2: Buy a Squatty Potty stool. Simply placing a stool under your feet helps to shift the position of your rectum, allowing for better voiding. Think of it like a slide at the park. When you are completely upright, you are asking your poop to make it down the curvy slide. When you forward lean and prop the feet up, you are sending it down the straight (much faster) slide.

Source: https://motipt.com/tag/squatty-potty/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3: Drink lots of water. Most of us are mildly dehydrated. When your body is properly hydrated, less water will be withdrawn from the colon. This will keep your stool soft and easy to pass. Add some lemon juice as a bonus. This helps with flavor, but the citrus can also help stimulate bowels.

4: Eat fiber. Fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes. You know the deal. Here is a link to my Poop Balls recipe. When I need to get things moving, these tasty balls are perfect.

5: Try the I Love U massage. Add a little lotion to your fingertips.

“I”: Start on the lower right side of your abdomen. Press down and then scoop your hands up toward ribs.

“L”: Next go to the left.

“U”: Finally, come back down, ending at the lower left part of your tummy.

 

Obviously, this one isn’t good to do while pregnant.

6: Practice relaxing your pelvic floor daily.

 

One last important note. Pay attention to the urge to poop. On the flip side of that, make sure that you aren’t sitting on the toilet too long waiting for things to happen. Both of these habits mess with our pelvic floor coordination to get the job done.

I sure hope this brings you a little relief.

I’m going to say it one more time. If you are chronically constipated–go see a pelvic floor PT!

Strong Like a Mother (SLAM) is a total body fitness program that loves your core and pelvic floor. In addition to kick-butt workouts that help improve diastasis recti, prolapse, incontinence, back pain, and more–you also get weekly rest day tips to help educate and empower you.

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