• Jill M. Arnold, PT, DPT

Poop. Everyone does it, or do they?

Whether or not we like to admit it, many of us look forward to that really good poop. For those of you who poop in the morning, it gets your day off to a great start. For those that may poop at night (more rare), it completes your day. For those of you who don't look forward to that amazing evacuation, maybe you take it for granted that it comes without you trying and passes without you thinking much of it. Lucky you. There are many people who suffer from constipation, incomplete emptying, or simply have an extremely hard time evacuating. There are many different causes for these issues. Pertaining to physical therapy, there can be extremely tight pelvic floor muscles that need to be manually released to allow for easier emptying. Typically the pelvic floor is supposed to completely relax to allow for emptying of bladder and bowel, however some pelvic floors simply are too tight for that to occur. Once muscles have been tight for a while, they create memories of being tight, and they will remain tight until new memories can be taught to these muscles. Also, maybe there is stool backed up in the colon. At times, there may be need for measures beyond PT, but many times simple manual techniques can even be taught to patients to assist in freeing this stool. Also, perhaps some of the organs are lacking in mobility/ motility, which is causing the colon to not perform the job as well. Visceral therapy can be performed to free these restrictions placed on the colon in order for overall organ mobility to return to normal. There have been several times where patients have undergone many tests such as colonoscopy, endoscopy, etc, in which all of the results are normal, but these tests don't pick up on something such as an organ lacking a little bit of mobility that it needs. That's where visceral therapy can come in and restore the motion the organ needs, which can allow that organ and all of the surrounding organs to perform their jobs much better. Also, toileting position is key. If a patient isn't sitting on the toilet to promote their pelvic floor relaxation, this can impede having a good BM. Pelvic floor is still not as well known, and people, like with anything, don't seek it out until they have a need. Once they do, it can be rather life changing. Yes, I give a squeal when I can get a patient back to having good daily (if that is their norm) bowel movements! Get help so you can poop peacefully and happily:)

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