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EXPERT KNOWLEDGE | SPECIALIST SERVICES | EMPOWERED WELLBEING
It’s something we don’t pay attention to unless there is a problem - but our bowel habits can play an important role in the development of constipation. Constipation is when you need to push or strain, hard or lumpy poo, or take longer than a few minutes to get it out. It can be described as less than 2 bowel movements a week, but did you know you can still be constipated even if you go daily but need to strain passing hard stools or not feeling empty after? Constipation can occur at any age affecting females slightly more than males and will not get better by itself.
Untreated constipation can lead to anal fissures (paper cuts of the anus, ouch), haemorrhoids, rectal prolapse (the rectum decides to live on the outside), bladder issues such as urgency or increase urinary incontinence. Make sure you promptly see the G.P if you notice blood in your poo.
Lack of exercise
Ignoring the urge to go
Slow bowel transit
The cause or causes of constipation will be identified with a systematic approach to resolving symptoms. Most times constipation will be successfully treated with lifestyle modifications and with stool softeners or laxatives.
Physiotherapy will direct treatment with manageable and achievable goals. Priority is to optimize stool consistency to a type 4 (see resource below, to see what stool type you are). From listening to your story, management options can be identified through evidence based care and clinical expertise. The simplest way to improve constipation can be how you sit on the toilet, see resource below to get you started today.