Details for Ask the Professional 3/17

ask a Professional Sarah Pettyjohn, PT, DPT Q: I heard on the news this week that March is national Colorectal Cancer Awareness month. What can I do to help keep my colorectal system healthy and working properly? A: Last week we looked at the implications of ignoring the urge. This month we are exploring some behavior changes you can implement to help maintain your bowel health. While there is a wide range of “normal” bowel habits, there are 4 great tips from the American Physical Therapy Association to ensure your habits are healthy. We will explore one tip each week this month! Use proper posture! For the anatomy of the pelvic floor, it is best to squat when you defecate. This allows the muscle to relax around the colon, opening the space up to allow stool to easily pass without straining. 90 to 135 degrees of hip flexion is best for best relaxation of the pelvic floor. Bottom line: Unfortunately, traditional toilet heights do not facilitate the ideal squat. To achieve this position, sit tall through your pelvis, bend at the hip, lean with your forearms on your thighs, and allow the abdomen to relax. If you have trouble getting started after this, take some deep, belly breaths to help relaxation. Try gently tightening the abdomen as you let the pelvic floor relax to void. If you feel you still need to strain, do not hold your breath. Rather, perform short “huffs” out to avoid excessive and unhelpful straining. Sundog Rehabilitation, llC Serving Rapid Valley and Custer locations! 605-787-2719 - Most Insurance Accepted

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