Fecal incontinence is the involuntary loss of stool, or the inability to control bowel movements. As you can imagine, the loss of bowel movements can have a very large impact on a person’s quality of life. Fecal incontinence can be the result of diarrhea, constipation, muscle damage or weakness, or due to a neurological issue. Muscle and nerve damage can happen during childbirth (especially if forceps are used). However there are many other situations that may result in fecal incontinence. Regardless of the cause, we can agree that finding ways to address the incontinence is essential to improving the quality of a person’s life.
Physical therapy can help in 2 basic ways:
- Identify if there is any physical thing that can be improved in the pelvic floor function (strengthening, relaxing, or both!) Once we know what needs to be worked on, we develop a customized home program!
- Identify if there are any habits or behaviors that may be contributing to the incontinence. Stool consistency and toileting habits can lead to fecal incontinence, even if your pelvic floor is doing a perfect job!
Don’t suffer in silence or embarrassment. Talk to your physician and discuss your symptoms, and ask if they think Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy may be a treatment option for you.