Written by Roshni Ravi, Pelvic Health Physiotherapist
Constipation is a common gastrointestinal (GI) condition that causes difficulty with passing stool or reduces the frequency of having a bowel movement. It can be caused by
– diet e.g. not enough fibre
– sedentary lifestyle
– Ignoring the urge for a bowel movement due to pain.
– Pelvic organ prolapse (POP)
– Medications such as anti-inflammatories, iron supplements or anti depressants.
Medically, constipation is defined as having fewer than 3 bowel movements a week with hard stools.
Pelvic muscle dyssynergia (incoordination) can lead to constipation. During a typical bowel movement, the pelvic floor needs to relax in order to evacuate stool. When there is tightness in the pelvic floor muscles, it can be painful or uncomfortable to pass stool.
Treatment for constipation can include a number of lifestyle modifications such as increased fibre and water intake, and regular exercise. However, consulting with a pelvic physiotherapist can improve outcomes, by creating an exercise program specific to your pelvic floor dysfunction. The need for lengthening versus strengthening of the pelvic floor is determined through internal vaginal or rectal examination. Another option is seeing a naturopath for ways to adjust your diet accordingly. Quite often, both treatments go hand in hand.
Experiencing constipation or constipation like symptoms? Book a consultation with one of our pelvic physiotherapists today!
A Diastasis Recti Abdominus is a separation in the 6-pack muscle, the rectus abdominis.
How does it occur?
It most often occurs during pregnancy. Sometimes it will spontaneously correct following birth, but it does not always.
It can also occur with overstretch of abdominal musculature.
Why is it a problem?
There is no pain with this condition.
However, the abdominal wall and the core will become weak. Your abdominals work with your pelvic floor, so a separation of your rectus abdominis muscles can make your pelvic floor less efficient and may result in prolapse and incontinence.Your abdominals also work with your lower back musculature, therefore it can lead to lower back pain.
How do I know if I have a Rectus Diastasis?
If you lift your head while lying on your back and the center of your belly protrudes out, you may have a rectus diastasis. It is measured by the number of fingers you can fit between the muscle when lying on your back and lifting your head. Normal is 1/2 a finger above and below the belly button, and one finger at the belly button.
How do I treat it?
If the abdominal separation is greater than 4 fingers, an abdominal binder is recommended. If you use an abdominal binder, it should be from your hip bones to your rib cage, you need to keep the binder on 24/7. You can only take the binder off when you do your correction exercise below, or when you take a shower. You should keep it on at bedtime.
To get your pelvic health assessed, schedule a consultation with a pelvic floor physiotherapist at Triangle Physiotherapy!
Written by: Kamand Zendeganidoost, Registered Physiotherapist