Bowel (faecal) incontinence is the leaking of faeces or wind involuntarily. One in four women may experience bowel incontinence in their lifetime. It can occur as a result of birth trauma, chronic constipation, connective tissue disorders, irritable bowel syndrome and prolapse. Clinical research has shown that Physiotherapy for bowel incontinence is an effective way to improve symptoms.
Bowel incontinence comes in many forms, all of which are usually easily treated by Physiotherapy. It may be triggered by your sport (for example ‘runners trots’) or stressful situations. It may present as needing to open your bowels urgently, perhaps without getting to the toilet on time. Often individuals report difficulty in wiping themselves clean after a bowel movement or leaking after passing a stool.
Here are a few tips to help achieve regular, happy bowel movements:
Position matters. When you're on the toilet, try to get your knees higher than your hips.
Have patience and take your time.
Do not push. If you strain, it is like squeezing toothpaste from the top of the tube, making it more difficult to empty your bowels completely. Straining is also a risk factor in the development of pelvic organ prolapse.