We’ve been talking a lot about pelvic floor issues and by now, you probably have an idea of what sort of issues you should see a pelvic health physiotherapist for – urinary incontinence, prolapse, pain. You probably also have an idea of what you need to do about it – kegels, lengthening, breathing. But what if this is not enough? What if the root of the problem is something “deeper”?
4 out of 5 patients that walk into my office have some sort of gastrointestinal issue; and most of these patients shrug it off. Why? Many of us believe it’s normal to have abnormal bowel habits. In fact, Canada has one of the highest rates of IBS in the world with 5 million Canadians currently living with IBS(1).
More specifically, constipation is a major contributor to pelvic floor dysfunction (2). As dried out stool sits in the rectum, it stretches the pelvic floor muscles, ligaments and nerves causing weakness and laxity. The longer the stool remains in the rectum, the more water is absorbed from it, making it harder to pass (2). Overtime, this can lead to further pelvic floor issues such as pain, incontinence, and prolapse. In children, fecal withholding can lead to fecal or urinary incontinence.
You may be constipated and not know it. Constipation presents itself in many different ways besides the inability to pass stool. Common symptoms of constipation are leaky stool, abdominal bloating, bad breath, low energy, decreased appetite and difficulty concentrating (2).
At Body Co., we have a team of physiotherapists, nutritionists, osteopaths and massage therapist that can help you identify and treat your GI dysfunction. GI dysfunction is no joke – make your appointment to get assessed today!
*Sandra is has received training in manual techniques used to treat constipation and other GI dysfunction, including balloon training.
1- Canadian Digestive Health Foundation, 2018 (http://cdhf.ca/en/statistics)
2- Carrière, B., & Feldt, C. M. 6.2 Physiotherapy for Anorectal Disorders. The Pelvic Floor. (2006). 448-462.
Pelvic Floor & Paediatric Physiotherapist
Sandra graduated from Dalhousie University with a Masters degree in Physiotherapy after completing her Bachelor of Kinesiology degree with honours from McMaster University. She has worked with a variety of clientele but has developed a true passion in working with both the paediatric and women’s health populations. Sandra has extensive experience assessing and treating a variety of paediatric conditions and most recently has become certified as a pelvic health physiotherapist. She also has additional training in acupuncture and kinesiotaping. Sandra finds great value in guiding each individual through a tailored rehabilitation program to optimize their function and quality of life. In her free time, Sandra enjoys yoga, pilates, traveling and spending time with family and friends.