Constipation occurs when bowel movements become difficult, painful, infrequent, or inadequate to eliminate waste. This common issue can contribute to pelvic discomfort in multiple ways. Understanding the connection between constipation and pelvic pain empowers sufferers. It also helps them discover associated treatment options to find relief.
Defining Pelvic Pain
The pelvis is the lowest part of the torso between hip bones containing organs like the bladder, colon, uterus, and rectum. Pelvic pain describes discomfort stemming from issues in this region. It may present as general soreness, pressure, cramping, aching, or stabbing. The specific feeling depends on the underlying cause. When constipation is the culprit, unique characteristics help identify it.
Link Between Constipation and Pelvic Discomfort
Infrequent and hard bowel movements put outward pressure on the rectum. This irritates nerves linked to the pelvic floor muscles, bladder, and reproductive organs. This can cause referred lower abdominal pain or fullness. Constipation also triggers muscles surrounding organs to spasm. They work harder to push out backed-up stools. This spasticity fuels inflammation and pain. The longer the waste sits, the worse symptoms get.
Contributing Diet and Lifestyle Factors
Diet and lifestyle habits making constipation and subsequent pelvic discomfort more likely include:
Low fiber intake
Fiber adds bulk to stool and helps it pass easily through the colon. Less fiber leads to harder, drier stools that don’t move efficiently.
Water is essential for keeping stools soft to travel through the intestines and exit smoothly. Dehydration causes overly solid stool.
Rushed toilet habits do not allow enough time to fully eliminate. This trains the bowel muscles poorly over time, resulting in incomplete evacuation.
A sedentary lifestyle slows metabolism, including digestion, allowing waste to stagnate internally.
This leads to drier, harder stools.
Excess alcohol dehydrates the body. Dairy products or lactose intolerance cause inflammation, interfering with digestion. Both worsen constipation.
Putting off bowel movements when feeling the urge to go makes stools back up, dry out, and pack together.
Stress interferes with healthy bowel function, slowing motility. This facilitates constipation.
Medication side effects include constipation. Opiates, antidepressants, antacids, iron, and other supplements commonly cause it.
Characteristics of Pelvic Pain from Constipation
Pelvic pain is a complex and often distressing experience that can arise from various sources.
One source that deserves attention is constipation. It’s a common pelvic pain due to constipation issues that affects many individuals.
Recognizing the characteristics of pelvic pain resulting from constipation is crucial for understanding and managing this discomfort effectively.
- General Lower Abdominal Aching
Stool backing up in the rectum and colon puts outward pressure on the intestinal walls, bladder, and surrounding muscles. This causes dull pain.
- Feeling of Fullness and Bloating
The accumulation of hard, dry stool within the colon gives a sensation of fullness. Bloating results as gas gets trapped behind the backed-up wastes.
- Sharp Rectal Pain with Bowel Movements
Passing large, dry, compacted stool overstretches tissues of the rectum and anus. This causes painful tearing sensations.
- Muscle Contractions in Pelvis and Thighs
Excessive contractions occur in the pelvic floor and thigh muscles. They try to generate enough force to push out the firm stool, causing spasmodic pain.
- Pain Diminishing After Passing Stool
Once backed up, wastes fully clear the system, reducing pressure on organs and relaxing muscles, providing pain relief.
- Blood Visibility in Toilet or on Tissue
Small anal fissures and hemorrhoids often develop secondary to large, painful bowel movements. This causes bloody streaks.
- Urinary Issues
Increased frequency and urgency with pain or burning during urination signal that the nerves to the bladder are affected.
When to Seek Medical Care
Occasional constipation is generally resolved with at-home remedies. If pelvic pain lingers longer than three days or increases severely, seek medical advice.
Seek medical advice if pelvic pain accompanies the following.
- Bleeding from the rectum
- Inability to pass gas/stool
- Fever indicating infection
- Dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath
At this stage, practitioners can provide prescribed relief.
At-Home Constipation Relief Strategies
Before turning to laxatives, try improving your diet, activity level, bowel habits, and stress management.
Specific remedies include:
- Increasing daily fiber intake
- Drinking more water
- Gently exercising to stimulate the bowels
- Abdominal massage
- Taking probiotic supplements
- Practicing better toilet posture
Over-the-counter relief options also provide short-term help when needing quicker results.
Over-the-counter (OTC) products help constipation in different ways. They include stool softeners, bulk-forming agents, lubricants, hyperosmotic laxatives, and stimulant laxatives.
- Stool softeners: Emollients make waste easier to pass.
- Bulk formers: Absorb fluid,
- expanding stool.
- Lubricants – Coat the intestinal wall for easier transit.
- Hyperosmotics: Draw water into the colon to soften stool.
- Stimulants: Increase muscular contractions, speeding transit.
These provide temporary assistance. However, addressing root causes leads to lasting relief without relying on store remedies.
Professional Medical Treatments
If OTC constipation relief and lifestyle approaches do not resolve associated pelvic pain adequately, doctors can prescribe stronger medications.
They can also order treatments like:
- X-Rays: Assess stool amount and location
- Suppositories: Stimulate quick rectal evacuation.
- Enemas: Inject water solutions into the rectum.
- Biofeedback Therapy: Trains pelvic floor muscle coordination.
- Prescription Laxatives: Stronger versions of OTC options.
- Surgery: The last resort for impaction, strictures, and prolapse issues.
Multidisciplinary care is tailored to specific pelvic floor dysfunction patterns.
This approach offers the most effective solution for addressing pain and constipation, incorporating a holistic strategy that combines diet, exercise, bowel training, and counseling.
In the realm of physical therapy, specialized services like Limitless Concierge Physical Therapy play a crucial role. Physical therapists guide patients through tailored exercises and provide valuable insights into relaxation techniques. Additionally, they offer advice on activity modification and recommend natural remedies, ensuring a comprehensive and lasting approach to well-being.
In most cases, constipation induces pelvic pain. It resolves once completely emptied. Preventative habits are established to maintain regularity long-term. Paying attention to aggravators allows for early intervention when discomfort eventually recurs.
Published on December 22, 2023 and Last Updated on December 22, 2023 by: Priyank Pandey