PT CORNER - by Lyne Ezenwa P.T.
True or False? Constipation may lead to pathological hemorrhoids.
True. When suffering from constipation, straining is present when having a bowel movement. The constant straining may lead to hemorrhoids, which is like a varicose vein in the rectal area. They can become painful, irritated and even bleed.
There are 3 basic actions you may take to help prevent constipation. First of all exercise! Aerobic activity (exercises that increase your heart rate such as swimming, fast pace walking) will help stimulate the natural movement of your bowel, called peristalsis. Second, eat more fibers! 27 to 40 grams of fiber daily is recommended. Increase your fiber intake progressively to allow your body to adjust to the dietary change. If you have specific dietary restrictions that impede you from eating certain foods, I strongly recommend you consult with a nutritionist to set healthy eating habits that will fit your medical needs. Third, drink more water! In most cases, 6 to 8 glasses of water daily is recommended.
Last, please do not delay going to the restroom. Once you feel the need to have a bowel movement, follow your urge within the next few minutes. Otherwise you lose the natural movement of the bowels that helps with the defecation process. Then the stool hardens in the canal making evacuation more difficult.
When dealing with constipation retraining your muscles to work properly for successful evacuation is necessary. Physical therapy and biofeedback is very useful for the reeducation of your muscles.
Having a bowel movement should be like walking, once you get the concept it should be effortless!
Lyne Ezenwa P.T.
The Pelvic Health and Physical Therapy Center
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