Return To Running Post-Pregnancy
February 18, 2021
Women's Pelvic Health
Overactive Pelvic Floor
November 9, 2021

In the clinic, we see a lot of people struggling with constipation.  Among other reasons, it can often be a sign of overactivity and poor coordination of the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles.

Common signs of constipation:

  • Feeling of incomplete emptying in greater than 25% of bowel movements
  • Sensation of  obstruction/blockade in greater than 25% of bowel movements
  • Manual maneuvers to help empty greater than 25% of bowel movements (e.g, digital evacuation, support of the pelvic floor)
  • Fewer than 3 bowel movements per week
  • Loose stools are not present, and criteria for irritable bowel syndrome are insufficient

Common Causes of Constipation:

  • Lack of fibre in your diet
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Medications, including iron and calcium supplements
  • Dairy intake
  • Dehydration
  • Abuse of laxatives
  • Travel
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Pregnancy
  • Luteal phase of menstruation (after ovulation and before menses)
  • Colorectal problems
  • Intestinal dysfunction

Treating Constipation:

There are several ways of treating constipation, including changes to diet and exercise, use of laxatives, down-training the pelvic floor and scheduled toileting.

These treatments include:

  • Increasing fibre and fluids in the diet
  • Increasing physical activity
  • Learning muscle coordination and relaxation
  • Learning proper toileting techniques and toileting modifications
  • Designing and sticking  to a toileting schedule

source: 2007 Herman & Wallace | Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute


Make an appointment to see Linda, our women’s health physiotherapist who specialise in physiotherapy for bowel conditions.