A simple massage to help manage constipation

Constipation pain is a very common complaint that many of our patients suffer from. Suffering from constipation pain can interfere with a person’s daily life and can effect a person’s overall quality of life. Research has shown that performing an abdominal massage can promote bowel motility throughout the colon. To perform the massage, begin at the right anterior superior iliac spine, which is at the base of the ascending colon. Use 2 or 3 fingers in a clockwise motion with moderate pressure and continue up towards the ascending colon. Continue across the transverse colon, toward the base of the left rib cage. Then continue down toward the base of the descending colon. Repeat the massage by starting at the base of the ascending colon and perform up to 3-5 times. When performing the massage, each clockwise motion should take 1 minute.

Sketch of directional massage

Anatomy of colon

If you are not comfortable performing this massage at home, we are happy to help! Please call or email us directly to schedule an appointment. All sessions are one-on-one with a physical therapist. We will focus on making you, or even a partner, confident in these techniques for a home program.

References Harrington KL, Haskvitz EM (2006). Managing a patient’s constipation with physical therapy. Physical Therapy 86 (11): 1511-1519.

BaidyaFebruary, S. (2016, February 15). [Large Intestine Diagram]. Retrieved March 25, 2019, from https://factslegend.org/20-interesting-large-intestine-facts/ReferencesHarrington KL, Haskvitz EM (2006). Managing a patient’s constipation with physical therapy. Physical Therapy 86 (11): 1511-1519.

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