The Silent Culprit: How Tight Pelvic Floor Muscles Lead to Constipation


In the labyrinth of our bodily functions, there exists a lesser-known but crucial player in the realm of digestive health—the pelvic floor muscles. Often overlooked, these muscles play a pivotal role in various bodily functions, including bowel movements. Surprisingly, tightness in these muscles can often be an unexpected cause of a common ailment: constipation.


### Understanding the Pelvic Floor: Beyond the Basics


The pelvic floor comprises a network of muscles, ligaments, and tissues situated at the base of the pelvis. Functioning like a sling, these muscles support the bladder, bowel, and uterus in women. Contrary to popular belief, these muscles aren’t just responsible for maintaining continence; they also contribute significantly to bowel movements.


### The Connection: Pelvic Floor and Constipation


When the pelvic floor muscles are excessively tight or in a state of constant tension, they can hinder the natural process of defecation. This tension disrupts the coordination between the pelvic floor and the muscles of the rectum, making it challenging for stool to pass through the rectum and out of the body.


Several factors can contribute to the tightening of these muscles, including:


  1. **Chronic Stress**: Stress and anxiety can cause the pelvic floor muscles to tense up, leading to dysfunction.
  2. **Sedentary Lifestyle**: Prolonged sitting or lack of physical activity can weaken and tighten these muscles.
  3. **Trauma or Surgery**: Injuries or surgeries in the pelvic area can lead to muscle tightness and dysfunction.
  4. **Poor Posture**: Incorrect posture can contribute to pelvic floor muscle tension over time.


### Symptoms and Impacts


The symptoms of tight pelvic floor muscles contributing to constipation can vary but often include:


– Difficulty initiating a bowel movement

– Straining during bowel movements

– Incomplete evacuation

– Pain or discomfort in the pelvic region


### Seeking Relief: Treatments and Solutions


Addressing constipation caused by tight pelvic floor muscles involves a multifaceted approach:


  1. **Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy**: Specialized physical therapy focuses on relaxing and retraining the pelvic floor muscles through exercises and relaxation techniques.
  2. **Biofeedback**: This technique helps individuals learn to control and relax their pelvic floor muscles using visual or auditory feedback.
  3. **Relaxation Techniques**: Incorporating relaxation methods like deep breathing, yoga, or meditation can help release tension in the pelvic floor.
  4. **Dietary Modifications**: Increasing fiber intake, staying hydrated, and maintaining a balanced diet can alleviate constipation symptoms.
  5. **Squatty potty**. Having your feet up on a stool can help immensely with bowel movements. In order to fully relax the muscles that keep you from pooping your pants, you need to have your knees up above your hips. For most of us that means we need a stool to put our foot on when we’re sitting on the toilet.


### Conclusion


Constipation, a common yet often overlooked issue, can sometimes find its roots in unexpected places—such as tight pelvic floor muscles. Understanding this connection empowers individuals to recognize the signs, seek proper diagnosis, and explore treatment options that target the underlying cause.


Prioritizing holistic health, including mental well-being, physical activity, and seeking professional guidance when necessary, can pave the way for a smoother journey toward a healthy and functional digestive system. Awareness and proactive steps toward addressing tight pelvic floor muscles could be the key to finding relief from the grip of constipation.


Dr. Katy Rush

The Perfect Pelvis

"We Help Active Adults & Athletes Get Back To Workouts and Sports They Enjoy without surgery, stopping activities they love, or relying on pain medicine."