Over the last while, there has been an increase of my clients and program participants who have been focusing more on digestive and urinary distress (often constipation or incontinence of bowel and/or bladder). Experiencing these changes can be very distressing and can make daily life a challenge – they can also sometimes lead to much more serious problems such as obstructions or infections if left unaddressed for too long.
I am not trying to scare you, those larger and scarier problems don’t always happen, but there are good reasons to take your initial symptoms seriously and try to address them as soon as possible.
When I first sent this series to those on my Newsletter, they were all very curious about constipation specifically and how to keep constipation from turning into bowel obstructions.
And so, this begins a 3-part series to increase understanding about:
- why often significant changes in elimination (i.e. constipation) show up with adhesion, pain and distress
- how our self-care and movement can help get digestion functioning better, and
- what other tools and techniques are out there that might be able to help as well.
Where to Start with Constipation
In the beginning of working with me, people invariably begin with, “I don’t know if this is Too Much Information” and then describe the changes in elimination they’ve been experiencing.
Not only is this information never TMI, it is almost always a hugely important part of assessment, treatment, and recovery. And it’s very important to track in the daily logs that you’re keeping for your hands-on treatment, movement, and symptoms.
So, the first thing to do is to find out where you are now. I find that memory is very untrustworthy after about three days, so don’t worry about tracking what has come before today (unless there was a very marked event that started the changes, such as surgery). But, starting today, keep your daily log and be sure to track:
- Number of bowel movements
- Did they feel complete
- Was there pain or discomfort during the movement (and before/after)
- Diet changes
- Water intake
Of course you can track more information than that (such as consistency of the stool, color, etc.), but I generally feel that what I listed above are the bare minimum things to keep an eye on.
And then, once you’ve had a few days to track what’s happening for you, move on to Part 2: Digestive Changes and Constipation Solutions.
- Isabel Spradlin is a Registered Nurse (RN), Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), and abdominal adhesion specialist in Portland, OR. She specializes in educating people about manual treatment (massage) for abdominal pain and dysfunction, especially when it is adhesion related. Please see the "Programs" page to see her offerings.