Bowel Dysfunction

Bowel dysfunction may be in the form of stool leakage, fecal incontinence, bowel urgency, inability to eliminate, or pain. These uncomfortable symptoms can cause a huge impact on your daily life, causing you discomfort, added expense of protective pads and garments, and inability to fully participate in activities you love.

How It All Connects

The pelvic floor muscles provide a crucial role in bowel function. They provide support to the rectum within the pelvis, contract to hold back stool, and lengthen to allow stool emptying. Poor coordination of pelvic muscles and breath such as contracting instead of lengthening are often causes for bowel dysfunction. Our pelvic floor muscles and colorectal structures coordinate continence of the bowels as well as elimination.

Why Bowel Dysfunction Happens

Bowel dysfunction can occur when your pelvic floor muscles have tension or over-activity, pelvic floor weakness or under-activity, or with altered muscle coordination. Body mechanics and toileting posture may be contributing to bowel difficulties or with disease and GI conditions. Some of the more common diagnoses that are also related to bowel dysfunction include IBS, Colitis, Crohn’s disease, Diverticulitis, SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth).

APH Helps With Bowel Dysfunction

It is common to have more than one body system involved with bowel dysfunction and we will address them.

Some of the bowel conditions we treat are:

Dyssynergic Defecation
Fecal Incontinence
or Leakage
Fecal Urgency
Painful Bowel Movement
Incomplete Emptying
Fecal Smearing

Our Expert Pelvic Health Occupational Therapists Are Here To Help

At Ascend, we help women like you attain optimal pelvic health so you can feel confident and pain free throughout all phases of life from early adulthood into advanced years. We start by conducting a comprehensive exam to identify what may be contributing to the problems you are experiencing. We build a holistic, individualized care program that not only focuses on your pelvic floor, but also takes into account the interconnected systems of your body. We then help you get results using our proven therapeutic techniques.


Manual therapies include myofascial release or visceral mobilization to help improve muscle length and sensitivity around the pelvis

Postural retraining and specific strategies to improve your body mechanics and movement.

Specific exercises aiming to improve tension and length in certain muscles around the pelvis and body, or strengthen for stability if needed.

Specific exercises to retrain the coordinated and automatic function of your pelvic floor muscles and retrain your deep core function.

Education to build strategies to optimize your bowel health and habits, including education regarding urge suppression strategies, bowel mechanics.

We also have the capacity to utilize tools and modalities like surface-EMG biofeedback, or balloon manometry, or electrical stimulation if needed for your program.

Helping YOU Attain Comfort, Control, and Freedom

Start Your Journey to Better Health

Personalized Treatment Options Designed to Suit Your Unique Needs

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Speak directly with your therapist to review your particular case and learn about our various treatment options.


Your first visit where we learn about you, perform initial evaluations and develop an action plan just for you.


These sessions are where we implement your personalized action plan and work with you to achieve your goals.


Take this short health quiz to see if you could benefit from the woman’s health therapy solutions we offer.