Pelvic Floor Health and the Number Two Problem

Hey there! Let’s talk about something many of us don’t give much thought to until it becomes a pain in the you-know-where: pelvic floor health. It’s more connected to our bathroom habits than we might realize! And Moment of Truth PT is here to help. So, grab a seat and let’s dive into the responsibilities of our pelvic floor and its relationship with constipation.

Getting to Know Your Pelvic Floor:

Okay, so picture this: your pelvic floor is like a hammock of muscles and tissues that hangs out at the bottom of your pelvis, holding everything in place—your bladder, uterus, and even your poop chute! These muscles are total multitaskers, helping with peeing, pooping, and even getting your groove on. Below are the four main responsibilities of your pelvic floor:

  1. Sexual. The pelvic floor isn’t just about holding things in place – it’s also key to a satisfying sex life! Strong pelvic muscles mean better sensation and control, leading to more intense orgasms and overall sexual pleasure.
  2. Sump Pump. The pelvic floor acts like a sump pump, making sure the blood and lymph in our lower body flows safely to and from our heart, lungs and brain.
  3. Supportive. In addition to housing our sexual organs, the pelvic floor supports other organs such as intestines and pelvic diaphragm.
  4. Sphincteric. The pelvic floor prevents leakage and helps keeps things dry. It helps control bladder and bowel movements, ensuring you don’t have any unexpected leaks when you laugh too hard or jump on a trampoline.

The Scoop on Constipation

Now, let’s chat about constipation—ugh, the ultimate bathroom bummer. It’s when you’re backed up, and going number two feels like mission: impossible. While it can be caused by things like not drinking enough water or eating enough fiber, your pelvic floor can also play a key role, making things even trickier. The main ways that our pelvic floor health can cause constipation are:

  1. Weakness. If those muscles are feeling a bit flimsy, they might struggle to support your insides, leading to poop problems. Essentially, the muscles must be strong enough to keep your rectum from prolapsing.
  2. Tension. On the flip side, if your pelvic floor is too tense, it can be like trying to push through a closed door – no fun for anyone! Pooping should be as easy as exhaling.
  3. Life Happens. Things like giving birth, surgery, or even just bad posture can throw your pelvic floor for a loop.
  4. Lifestyle Choices. Sitting around all day, coughing from smoking, or lugging heavy stuff can all take a toll on your pelvic floor health.

Improving Pelvic Floor Health

If you are experiencing constipation or discomfort in your pelvic floor, we recommend scheduling a consultation with us. We will evaluate your abdomen, rectal and vaginal tension in order to get to the bottom of what’s causing your bottom’s problems (pun intended). We will release pressure or strictures first and then work with you to make a plan for strengthening the affected muscles, so that your symptoms will lessen (or go away completely!).

In the meantime, you can avoid unnecessary blockage by keeping your pelvic floor healthy. If you’re feeling constipated, take the below steps to retore your pelvic floor and get your sphincteric muscles/organs back in working order.

  1. Address tightness. Start stretching regularly to release tension in the pelvic floor muscles. For example, try sitting on the floor with your legs bent and the soles of your feet together, then gently press your knees towards the floor to stretch the inner thighs and pelvic floor.
  2. Strengthen your muscles. Perform specific relaxation exercises targeting the pelvic floor muscles. Lie down in a comfortable position, and consciously release tension from your pelvic floor by imagining a gentle opening and widening of the area.
  3. Breath deep: Like we said, pooping should be as easy as exhaling. Practice diaphragmatic breathing to relax the pelvic floor muscles. Inhale deeply through your nose, allowing your abdomen to expand, then exhale slowly through your mouth, allowing your pelvic floor to relax.

Lifestyle Tips to Keep It Flowin’

While constipation can be caused by a weak or tight pelvic floor, it’s sometimes the other way around. When you’re backed up, and every trip to the toilet feels like a struggle, you’re putting extra pressure on your pelvic floor. It’s like asking your muscles to work overtime without a break. And over time, this can lead to even more issues with your pelvic floor, making it a vicious cycle. However, there are certain things you can do to keep your pelvic floor happy and your bathroom visits drama-free.

  1. Eat Fiber-Rich Foods. Load up on fruits, veggies, whole grains, and beans to keep things moving down there.
  2. Stay Hydrated. Sip on water throughout the day to keep your stool soft and your bowels happy.
  3. Pelvic Floor Workouts. Ever heard of Kegels? They’re like push-ups for your pelvic floor muscles and can help keep them strong and healthy.
  4. Chill Out. Relaxation techniques like deep breathing or yoga can help ease tension in your pelvic floor muscles.
  5. Don’t Rush. Don’t hurry your bathroom trips, as rushing often means straining, which is a no-no.
  6. Squatty Potty. We recommend the squatty potty, which helps your muscles and organs align to create optimal flow. Here’s a quick video on how it works.
  7. Mind Your Posture. Sit up straight and give your pelvic floor some love by not slouching all day. This isn’t just for toilet time – it means while you sit at your desk, or stand at the counter, or walk the dog. Good posture is something you can and should practice all the time.
  8. Ask for Help. If you’re still struggling, don’t be shy about reaching out to us for a consultation. We can give you personalized tips, tricks and treatment on a schedule that works for you.

Talk to a Professional

So, to wrap it up, we know that a healthy pelvic floor can keep us happy in the bathroom (among other  places, wink wink). Otherwise, constipation can occur. Inversely, constipation can sometimes cause more issues with our pelvic floor, so it’s important to address any issues quickly using the tip and tricks list above.

Moment of Truth PT is here to help get back to a healthy pelvic floor and “stop the stoppage.” Let’s give your pelvic floor some TLC by diagnosing the problem and creating a treatment plan designed specifically for you. If you’re having issue with your pelvic floor, or looking for answers about your constipation, schedule your consultation today and get back to happy poops and a healthier, happier you!

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