Fecal incontinence is the involuntary loss of
feces through an inability to prevent its passage;
or through the inability to differentiate between
the presence of feces or gas. This condition is
physically and psychologically disabling and is
a significant social and public health issue.
Rectal prolapse is a “falling down” of the rectum.
This may result in feeling as if something is “falling
out”, pain or pressure in the rectal or vaginal
area, fecal incontinence, feelings of incomplete
emptying after a bowel movement, and a decreased
tolerance for normal daily activities or exercise.
Symptoms may worsen with coughing and sneezing
as with a cold or allergies, or constipation.
Women are more likely to have rectal prolapse
than men, secondary to trauma from labor and delivery.
However, there are just as many women who develop
this condition with advancing age who have never
had any children. Men usually develop rectal prolapse
before 40 years of age.
Chronic constipation can have many causes that
will require the skilled care of a physician to
further evaluate, but with a team approach including
a physical therapist, the overall outcome may be
A contributing cause of constipation can be tight,
non-relaxing pelvic floor muscles that result in
an individual straining to pass stool. That chronic
straining is detrimental to the pelvic floor muscles
and can cause feelings of pain, incomplete emptying,
and worsen hemorrhoids or pelvic organ prolapse.
Biofeedback is a useful tool that promotes patient
awareness of how to relax the pelvic floor muscles
with appropriate positioning on the toilet. Adequate
fluid intake, diet and consistent toileting times
with abdominal massage techniques to speed intestinal
action can improve symptoms.
It can help by teaching you how to
strengthen and improve coordination of weakened
pelvic floor and abdominal muscles using biofeedback
equipment and real-time rehabilitative ultrasound
Education to appropriately manage
your symptoms through a well rounded home program
that might include exercises for strengthening,
stretching, diet and fluid modifications, relaxation
strategies and more.