Fecal incontinence is a difficult condition. A person with incontinence experiences great discomfort in his/her everyday life and often feels ashamed and isolated.
Faecal incontinence affects anywhere between 2 to 24% of the adult population and can lead to social isolation, loss of self-esteem, reduced self-confidence and depression.
Why does incontinence occur?
The reasons why a person experiences incontinence are various. Most people experience fecal incontinence after:
- operations on the colon or hemorrhoidectomies
- after pregnancy
- pelvic floor muscle injury and weakness
Pelvic floor muscles support the rectum and are involuntarily involved in bowel function. If this function is not performed correctly then fecal incontinence and pain may occur as natural consequences. It is important for you to to know that:
Conservative rehabilitation is the first line treatment for fecal incontinence.
Get relieved with pelvic floor physical therapy
A study by Rieger et. al. (1997) concluded that pelvic floor physiotherapy should be considered the initial treatment for patients with faecal incontinence, with expected improvement to more than 67% of patients.
At Athens Rehab after every complete assessment we develop an individualized treatment plan which may include manual therapy such as myofascial release, nerve gliding/release and visceral manipulation, and biofeedback. This results in a 90% reduction of incontinence episodes in more than 60% of patients. In addition, the program contains therapeutic exercises and core strengthening exercises. To ensure the best possible results, treatments at Athens Rehab always last one hour with each patient at each appointment.
At Athens Rehab we can help you!
Normal anal sphincter function is a critical part of continence. The internal sphincter of the anus contributes approximately 70-80% of resting sphincter tone. This is reinforced during voluntary compression by the external sphincter of the anus and by the muscle which forms a sling around the rectum and creates a forward pull to strengthen the anal angle (levator ani muscle) During voluntary compression, the angle becomes more acute, while during defecation, the angle becomes more obtuse.
Continence requires complex signaling cooperation between the levator ani smooth muscle of the colon and rectum, and the anal sphincters. Essentially, any process that interferes with these mechanisms, including birth trauma, neurological problem, bowel surgery or hemorrhoids can lead to fecal incontinence.
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