Definition

Poor coordination of the muscles and nerves that control stooling.

Causes

Any alteration to stooling can cause a discoordination of the complicated sling of muscles that allow for proper stooling.  Most commonly this is related to childbirth, but can result from any abnormality, including pain.

Symptoms

Chronic pelvic pain, difficulty passing stool, incomplete evacuation of stool, or even abdominal pain.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis may be based on a series of tests called Anorectal Physiology Testing (ARPS) or made be made by clinical consideration.  Unless a specific issue is discovered, the backbone of treatment is pelvic floor physical therapy (PT) with biofeedback, which focuses on retraining the pelvic floor muscles to work in a coordinated fashion.

Visit the American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons website for more information