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03 443 7271 | 21J Gordon Road, Wanaka | 15/5 Hawthorne Drive, Frankton Queenstown

Helping you poo

A healthy bowel habit varies considerably between people, bowels are very individual.  Your bowel is healthy if you bowel motions (poo / faeces) are regular, soft and well formed, easy to pass, and leave you feeling that your bowel has been fully emptied.

Incontinence of bowel motions (poo) can be embarrassing and may even stop you from leaving the house.  Flatus (wind) slipping out when you don’t mean to can also be very annoying, especially if you are in your favourite downward dog position in yoga class.  Rushing to the toilet due to a strong urge to pass a motion can be nerve racking if there is no toilet nearby.

Straining due to constipation and walking around with a belly and bottom full of stuck poo is also not fun and can lead to a host of other problems.  Bowel urgency can be caused by pelvic floor muscle weakness, loose bowel motions and a hypersensitive rectum. Pelvic floor muscles that are too tight can cause difficulty passing a poo, constipation and haemorrhoids.

Nothing better than a nice, soft, easy to pass bowel motion, that comes regularly! No more heave hoe to get that poo out, and let’s make sure they also don’t slip out when they are not supposed to.

 

Conditions we treat

Motions that are hard to pass and require straining/force to get it out can damage the pelvic floor over time, and also put strain onto the pelvic organs.  The reasons for constipation are many and the why needs to be addressed. Constipation is a symptom not a disease. It can be defined as a change from normal bowel habit, which can cause pain or discomfort, the bowel motions are hard, dry and / or difficult to pass.

Contributing factors include poor fluid and fibre intake, delaying the poo when you get the signal to go, not sitting the right way when trying to pass a motion, not much exercise, pregnancy, some medical conditions, some medication, anxiety, grief and depression, and some disorders of the bowel.

This is a condition where specific muscles contract rather than relax during a bowel movement.  Common symptoms are the sensation of incomplete rectum emptying after passing a stool, faecal impaction / loading / loss of liquid faeces.

We will aim to find out why these problems are occurring, and find out the best plan to improve them.  We work closely with colorectal specialists, and GP’s to ensure you are getting the best assessment, treatment and outcomes.

This condition can sometimes give the sensation that you have not fully emptied the bowels and sometimes you might need to push with the hand / finger in a certain place to empty fully.  The consistency of the stools matter here, and how you empty is important.

When these guys rear their ugly heads they can cause pain, bleeding from the bottom, difficult cleaning, and feelings of discomfort.  We want to make sure you can relax the pelvic floor and anal sphincter to be able to pass motions without straining and pain.  Dynamics of how you poo are important as is stool consistency.

Fissures can send you in a spiral spin – pain with motions can cause you to tighten up the muscles in fear of pain, which makes it harder to pass, which then hurts more and may increase risk of opening the fissure back up… and the cycle goes around.   We make sure that you are giving the fissures the best chance of healing, by normalising the way you poo and the muscle function.

This is one of the most debilitating conditions we see, and shame and stigma prevents many people from seeking the help they need for this problem.  We need to find out why this is occurring, which could be from bowel motions that are too loose, or the sensation in the rectum not being quite what is should, difficult childbirth, some medications, infections, some bowel surgery and radiotherapy.  Sometimes loose stool moves down and out around hard stool plugging the rectum.

Proctalgia fugax is characterized by severe, intermittent episodes of rectal pain that are self-limited. The diagnosis of proctalgia fugax requires exclusion of other causes of rectal or anal pain.  The rental pain usually does not last for very long, is often at night, but it is very severe, and usually does not happen very frequently.

Our services related to bowel problems

Defecation dynamics

The stools can come out easier if you are in the right position to allow the muscles to relax properly. Our friends over at Squatty Potty, have done a swell job at explaining how this works! We have toilet stools available for purchase at the clinic to help you poop like a unicorn. Whack your feet up on one so your knees are higher than your hips, to really feel the motion of the ocean when releasing the hamsters. Never strain but take your time, leaning forward and with your lower tummy completely relaxed and happy to ‘nudge’ the nugget.

We may need to work more intensively to teach you how to relax the muscles at the right time, as well as retrain what it feels like to have a normal sized poo in the rectum ready to pass, and responding to that sensation.  We advise on the best techniques for you to empty your bowel fully and regularly and combined with manipulation of the stools to be more soft, formed and easy to pass… this is a gateway towards the best poo of your life!

Fluid and fibre advice

Adequate fluid intake, spaced evenly across the day helps to normalise harder bowels. Drinking enough so that the urine is a pale yellow colour. Water is the best fluid. Limit caffeine, carbonated drinks and alcohol as these can dehydrate and cause bladder irritation.

Servings of vegetables and fruit throughout the day is important to maintain a healthy bowel. Eating both soluable and insoluable fibre is beneficial for bowel health. If you are increasing the fibre in your diet, it is recommended that you do it slowly to give your body time to adjust and reduce any side effects such as bloating or wind.
There are many kinds of fibre supplements that you can try. They are not laxatives, they are simply a type of fibre that you can take to top up your intake. You do need to take care as some can cause tummy upsets or can aggravate or cause constipation. The ratios of fibre supplements to water matters, so does the timing of when you take it depending in if you are trying to soften your stools, or if you are trying to bulk them up and make them firmer. Your therapist can help advise you on this.  We work closely with Doctors and Pharmacists if you do require the use of laxatives to help improve stool consistency, if fibre and fluid improvements are not enough.

LIfes changes
Lifestyle changes

Aim to do at least 30 minutes of exercise most days. Not only can this help prevent constipation, but it will help keep the pelvic floor toned and help you maintain a healthy body weight.  We can give you more specific advice about appropriate exercise.

We may ask you to keep a record of the types and frequency of your bowel motions, so we can see the habits you are in. We can then help advise about any change that you could make to improve your bowel routine and habits.

Pelvic floor muscle strengthening

Getting these muscles optimised to their full potential is what we are best at! This is our jam! No flimpsy pamphlet and generic instruction given… we assess you fully, and get your started on how to get these wonderful muscles, power house strong, and able to respond to what you will throw at it. Your program will be individualised to EXACTLY what you need. We don’t want your pelvic floor muscles to be your weakest link! Sometimes that might involve pelvic floor muscles relaxation (link through to this service from the pain section) first, before we can work on the strength, power, co-ordination and endurance of these muscles. They have to be fast enough to catch those coughs and sneezes, and have enough endurance to last a full day on your feet! They have to have enough tone to support your pelvic organs, and be able to fully relax to wee, poo and have sex! They need to be able to respond to impact during a lift or a jump…. And if you follow our recommendations… who knows…. Maybe you just might be able to shoot that ping pong ball across the room!

We will even help you with tips and trick on how to fit these exercises into your day, so that you can keep up the great work life long.

Frequently asked questions

While we strive to be family-friendly it can be beneficial for Mums if children are not present, so they can focus completely on the treatment. There is often a lot of new information to absorb and if internal treatment is required we want you to be as relaxed as possible. However, we will do our best to accommodate the needs of your family.

No.  You can make your appointment without a referral.  ACC and private appointments are available. If you do have a referral from your doctor or health care provider, then they will send it to Pelvic Solutions directly. To book now click here.

No. To be able to practice in this highly-regulated profession, our therapists have completed extensive post-graduate training in this field to gain the knowledge and clinical skills necessary to treat this complex clinical area. Our therapists study through The Women’s Health Training Associates and Melbourne University, as they offer a comprehensive training for Physiotherapists in this field. To be competent to work in this area, our therapist’s professional development has included hundreds of hours of theory and practical study, and multiple workshops, courses and monthly peer review meetings with other trusted colleagues in this field. Although our therapists can treat musculoskeletal injuries like ankle or shoulder sprains, they focuses on treating those with pelvic floor dysfunction, rather than standard injuries, but take a whole body and mind approach to treatment.

Some results can be felt immediately after the first session, however for permanent changes to be made it usually takes longer. Usually 3 treatments are indicated initially one week apart, then usually a follow-up anywhere between 2-4 weeks later, and then further treatments less often as required. This is due to the complex nature of most cases our therapist treats, and usually the problems are chronic, meaning it takes time to change behaviour, and strengthen muscles and co-ordinate body systems to improve function. We will strive to resolve your problem in the minimum number of treatments; the greatest success occurs when you are an active participant in your treatment program, and follow the advice given. Our therapists communicate directly with patients outside of appointments and are always available by email or phone to discuss any problems or concerns you may have with your program.

 

For our out of town clients, it may be difficult to get to the follow up appointments.  We will discuss with you the suitability or an online follow up, if you are unable to make it in person.

**Due to high demand we encourage all new patients to book their initial and two follow up appointments two weeks apart to ensure you get the most out of your treatment.

Expect improved control, higher self-esteem, better sex, improved continence, increased confidence, better natural lubrication, improved sensation in the vagina and much more!

Pelvic floor/perineal injuries covered by ACC are usually only after instrumental deliveries (forceps and ventouse), or trauma caused in an accident e.g. broken pelvis. Generally, ACC will only cover treatment within 12 months of the date of injury. If an ACC claim has expired there is a possibility it could be reactivated. Your practitioner can discuss this with you.

If you have sustained a musculoskeletal injury due to an accident and it has affected your pelvic floor function, in most cases you will be able to lodge an ACC claim at the time of your appointment. If you have lodged a claim with your GP, or have had ACC-covered treatment from another therapist (e.g. Osteopath, Physiotherapist, Chiropractor or Acupuncturist), please bring the relevant information, such as claim number and date of claim, to your appointment.

ACC will only cover part of the cost of treatment, so there will be a balance to pay. Please click here for treatment rates. You will be required to pay the full private fee until you have provided the relevant claim information and it has been confirmed by ACC to be valid. If you need assistance understanding whether you are eligible for ACC, please get in touch with us.

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