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Constipation – What Exactly is Biofeedback?

Numerous studies have shown the efficacy of biofeedback in treating constipation. Biofeedback is the method in which your bowels and muscles are “retrained”. Constipation greatly alters the way your muscles and your bowels work and Anorectal biofeedback can help normalize the strained and inactive muscles.

Biofeedback was developed in the 40s, but the term did not catch on until the late 60s. Biofeedback is a method in which subjects are trained to modify muscle tension, heart rate, brain activity, blood pressure and other bodily functions that cannot be controlled in a snap.

Signals from their body are used by these people to train their bodily functions and improve and enhance their overall health. In recent years, biofeedback has been studied and tested with the verdict that it does alleviate constipation.

Understanding How Anorectal Biofeedback Alleviates Constipation

As constipation causes bowels and muscles to be strained and weakened, naturally they lose their normal body functions and become inactive. Aside from constipation, they can also be strained due to aging, pregnancy and delivery.

The biofeedback technique is now growing increasingly popular since studies have shown its high efficacy rate in treating constipation. Efficacy rates for treating constipation vary in men and women. Studies have shown that biofeedback is more effective for females with a 100% efficacy rate. This doesn't mean that it does not work on males since it has been reported that the efficacy rate for men is a close 98-99%.

Biofeedback treatment works this way: electronic probes or biofeedback sensors are inserted to the anus or taped to the pelvic floor. These sensors help the person identify signals when it's time to defecate because most people stop the urge or completely miss the signals.

They watch the biofeedback display and connect the changes in the display to their body sensations. The biofeedback sensors then pick up the body signals and replicate them so they can be produced at the person's will.

Biofeedback coupled with Kegel exercises and other forms of constipation therapies can ease constipation by regaining the strength of the weakened muscles. It also helps in contracting only the necessary muscles needed to defecate. It also best to maintain a high fiber diet rich in fruits and vegetables, water intake of up to 12 glasses a day and ample amount of exercise.

Most patients undergoing biofeedback therapy have follow up appointments at regular periods. It will normally take months of therapy to see the efficacy, but it is generally up to the person to make the biofeedback therapy work.

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