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Fecal Incontinence and Constipation

Fecal incontinence is the involuntary loss of feces. It can occur for multiple reasons including muscle or nerve damage as can occur during child birth, surgery, diabetes or chronic constipation. Physical therapy for this condition may include pelvic floor rehabilitation with electrical stimulation, biofeedback or weights as well as bowel retraining.

Constipation is typically defined as having bowel movements less than three days per week, straining or experiencing lumpy stools 25% of the time, or a frequent feeling that your bowels are not completely empty. Constipation is the most common gastrointestinal complaint and is more frequently experienced in women than men. You should talk with your physician about your symptoms to rule out any GI problems. If your doctor determines that there is a pelvic floor or coccyx dysfunction contributing to your problems with constipation; physical therapy can be helpful. Assessment of the pelvic floor, development of a program of exercise and instruction in self-help techniques can all be beneficial in the treatment of constipation.