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Physiotherapy and Your Bowel

Physiotherapy and Your Bowel


How your bowel functions may not be to the forefront of your daily thoughts. In fact for most people it’s a body function that we barely notice. However for those of us for whom it doesn’t happen naturally, emptying your bowel can become an all-consuming problem. Normal bowel emptying can vary from twice daily to three times per week. However stress, poor diet, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), chronic constipation or diarrhoea, and pelvic trauma (following child birth or surgery), can all alter normal bowel function. Loss of bowel control, whether it’s constipation and difficulty emptying or leaking faecal matter, are very distressing symptoms, often borne in silence.

Any change in bowel habit should be investigated firstly by your family doctor. Muscles play an important role in managing in your bowel; from relaxation of your pelvic floor muscles to empty the bowel, to strengthening weak muscles to keep you dry. Even just getting the muscles to work in the correct pattern is important. Not surprisingly how you breathe can have a major impact on the ability of the pelvic floor muscles to function correctly.

Obviously good nutritional habits are equally important:

  • Eating the correct type and amount of fibre for you; green (vegetable) and brown (wheat) fibre.
  • HYDRATE; drinking sufficient fluids preferably water.
  • Take your time to empty your bowels; allow sufficient time for your muscles to relax.

At Ballsbridge Physiotherapy Clinic our specialist physiotherapist in continence, Aileen MaGuire, is experienced in the management of bowel and bladder problems. Your initial appointment (one hour) includes a comprehensive history, examination and treatment plan. If you are unsure, feel free to contact Aileen to answer your questions.

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