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Are you Pooing correctly?

Updated: Oct 10, 2023

Good techniques for everyday motions to protect our pelvic floor muscles - and this is for everyone!!

Let's bust a few myths before we start.

Myth 1 - Only women have pelvic floor and pelvic floor issues and therefore only women need to look after them.

Incorrect! Everyone has pelvic floor muscles. Pelvic floor is the term given to muscles, ligaments, nerves and arteries that make up the floor of our pelvis. To put simply; it is part of our deep muscles that make up our core and its role is also to allow us to have control over our bladder and bowel movements. This means EVERYONE has one!

Myth 2 - Only women who have children experience pelvic floor muscle problems

FALSE! Anyone, and therefore everyone with a pelvic floor can experience issues. These could present as pain, incontinence, bladder, bowel or symptoms related to bowel, bladder and sexual function

Myth 3 - You only need to do exercises or protect your pelvic floor muscles when you have a problem with it. Definitely incorrect!!

Protecting your pelvic floor should start from birth. Everyday things such as straining, lifting, poor posture, weight gain and even using your bowels can affect your pelvic floor health.

Pelvic floor is a muscle and therefore the more we incorrectly use, strain and overuse a muscle, the higher the chances of injury and issues further on.

This is why the simple act of pooing correctly for your pelvic floor is so important! People use their bowels anywhere from 3x a day to a few times a week and the passing of poo through the pelvis can dictate the strain on the pelvic floor. Regular strain through these muscles, like all muscles, can lead to dysfunction and issues later on.

So how do Poo correctly? This is all about positioning. The pelvic floor muscles are a series of muscles that make up not only a 'floor like structure', but also a series of slings that give us control over our continence. This means we can choose when we use the toilet, and importantly when to hold on!

The shape of the bowel also affects the passing of faeces or poo. The last part of our bowel is an 's' shape, called the sigmoid colon. So positioning can affect the passing of poo through our lower bowels and out!

So to poo 'correctly' or in the way that reduces the strain through our pelvic floor we need to change our sitting posture when we poo.

Simple ways to do this:

1. Knees wide - aiming for about 45 degrees!

2. Knees above hips - most toilets are quite tall, it is recommended using a small step or stool under your feet. If you do not have one a super easy and cheap alternative is using a roll of toilet paper under each foot.

3 Straight back - avoid rounding out through the mid-lower back.

4. Lean forward elbows on knees

Easy! Good control and reduction of strain through these muscles can reduce dysfunction later in life and allow us to live our best life!

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