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- Trouble having a bowel movement
- Repeated bowel accidents
- Swollen abdomen
- Feeling full (not hungry) quickly
- Loose stools or very hard stools
- Bleeding from the rectum
- Abdominal pain
- Providing effective ways to have a bowel movement
- Preventing bowel accidents
- Establishing a predictable bowel movement schedule
- Follow a certain diet and physical activity plan
- Be given a combination of medications to promote bowel function
- Undergo digital stimulation to cause a bowel movement
- Work with your healthcare team to find an ideal time for going to the bathroom and position to use when having a bowel movement
- Participate in other methods to encourage bowel movement, such as doing push-ups, massaging the abdomen, deep breathing, drinking warm fluids, and sitting in a forward-leaning position
- Stool softeners to make bowel movement easier
- Colonic stimulants to stimulate the colon to move the stool through the digestive tract faster
- Osmotic laxatives to pull water into the intestines to increase stool bulk
- Bulk formers to ncrease stool bulk
- Suppositories—stimulate the nerves in the rectum lining
- Enemas—stimulate the nerves and soften stool
- Colostomy—An opening is made from the colon to the surface of the body. The opening acts like an anus where solid waste is removed.
- Ileostomy—An opening is made from the small intestine to the surface of the body.
- Wearing seat belts
- Avoiding activities that can put you at risk for injuring your spine
National Association for Continence http://www.nafc.org
United Spinal Association http://www.unitedspinal.org
HealthLink BC http://www.bchealthguide.org
Canadian Spinal Research Organization http://www.csro.com
Benevento BT, Sipski ML. Neurogenic bladder, neurogenic bowel, and sexual dysfunction in people with spinal cord injury. Phys Ther. 2002;82(6):601-612.
Neurogenic bowel: what you should know. A guide for people with spinal cord injury. Consortium for Spinal Cord Medicine website. Available at: http://www.scicpg.org/cpg%5Fcons%5Fpdf/BWLC.pdf. Published March 1999. Accessed November 20, 2014.
- Reviewer: Rimas Lukas, MD
- Review Date: 12/2014 -
- Update Date: 12/20/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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