Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation in the Treatment of Fecal Incontinence
Pelvic floor physical therapy has been shown to be effective at treating a range of pelvic floor dysfunctions including Fecal Incontinence (FI). Several Randomized Control Trials have used a variety of Intervention components to successfully treat FI without significant risks and with high rates of success.
“Fecal incontinence (FI) is defined as the involuntary loss of liquid or solid stool… Prevalence has been reported at 2 to 24% of the adult population…” p. 99
Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation comprises a variety of efficacious therapeutic techniques including:
Bowel Management Education & Retraining
Focus on lifestyle modifications including diet, fluid intake, predictable bowel evacuation patterns, proper anatomical form and posture, and fecal urge suppression.
Pelvic Floor Muscle Training
Focus on increased strength, endurance, and coordination of the pelvic floor muscles, anal sphincters and abdominal muscles. May also include guided visualization, and instruction in proper contraction and release of a Kegel.
Focus on using instrumentation, or a digit, placed vaginally, rectally, or on the perineum to deliver visual, auditory, or tactile feedback to the patient. May also include the use of ultrasound or rectal balloons.
Focus on enhanced strength and endurance of muscle contractions particularly with the external anal sphincter.
Focus on soft-tissue mobilization, particularly with scarring, and myofascial release.
Submitted by Dr. Lauren Collier Peterson, PT, DPT
Clinical Director FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers of Oklahoma City
She has treated hundreds of men and women with pelvic floor issues ranging from incontinence and constipation to pain and prolapse. While she has a particular clinical interest in pelvic pain disorders, she wants everyone to enjoy good pelvic health and to know that “Leaks are not normal!”
Scott, K. M. (2014). Pelvic floor rehabilitation in the treatment of fecal incontinence. Clinics in Colon and Rectal Surgery, 27(3), 99-105.