Written By: Ellen Rossiter, Physiotherapist,
You may not know this, you may not even want to talk about it but toilet posture matters!
Have you ever heard of a Squatty Potty? The Squatty Potty is a stool that fits nicely under your toilet ready to be used when you need it, the concept is, by lifting your legs in a higher position when you go to the bathroom it helps drain all waste most effectively! Although this may make you laugh or possibly blush, these stools are excellent for putting your body in the best position to fully relax the pelvic floor muscles to allow you to “go”.
Our bodies were designed to pass urine or stool/excrement in a squat position. Look closely at babies or young toddlers they intuitively know this. Yet western civilization has moved away from that by raising the toilets higher. With this technological advancement our bodies have not changed how our bodies are built. Since we may prefer these methods we can make a difference in our methods by bringing the ground up!
Many of us have never given much attention to this topic. Yet sitting on the toilet properly helps remove waste effectively reducing abdominal pain, bloating, constipation and many more benefits. Next time you take a moment in the restroom consider your positioning to see the difference.
-Feet planted firmly on ground (or stool!)
-Leaning forward (forearms on knees)
-Knees above hips (if passing stool)
Why Does This Matter?
Relax puborectalis -this muscle wraps around the rectum, and helps us remain continent. In order to make it relax, we need knees to be above hips! This changes the muscle angle, and allows it to release its hold around the bowel.
Relax the rest of the pelvic floor -the rest of the muscles at the bottom of the pelvis don’t know they should relax if your feet are dangling! Planted feet help the pelvic floor and the hips to relax.
Avoid Strain -if we don’t relax the pelvic floor and surrounding muscles, it will cause us to strain when we void or pass stool. This can lead to issues like incontinence, or even hemorrhoids.
Muscle Learning -If we try to use the toilet without relaxed muscles, we teach the bladder or bowels that it is okay to release even if muscles are not relaxed - this can lead to or exacerbate incontinence!
Give It a Try!
Please note: Any stool works for this purpose, the Squatty Potty or something of the like fit nicely around a toilet.
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