Common disorders involving the bowel muscles include constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), fecal incontinence, hemorrhoid pain anal fissure and rectal prolapse, states Beyond Basics Physical Therapy. Individuals with bowel disorders typically experience frequency, urgency or retention in bowel movements, bloating, gas, rectal and abdominal discomfort and changes in bowel habits.
Impairment of the rectal and anal muscles through a neurological disturbance generally results in the development of various bowel disorders, explains Johns Hopkins Medicine. Dysfunctional bowel muscles lose their ability for coordinated contraction to help control bowel movements. Constipation, which is characterized by difficult and infrequent passing of stool, can be attributed to weakened muscles due to overuse of laxatives, notes WebMD. Diarrhea, meanwhile, is also the result of enervated pelvic floor muscles, which can lead to accidental bowel leakages, or fecal incontinence.
IBS occurs when the musculature of the gastrointestinal tract, including the bowel muscles, tighten, weaken or contract in an uncoordinated manner. Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, which are inflammatory bowel conditions, are characterized by tension in the bowel muscles, which is either due to irritation of the colon and rectal tissue lining or from gripping the muscles during a bowel movement.
Hemorrhoid pain arises when the rectal and anal muscles are restricted or become spastic, which cuts off circulation to the hemorrhoids. A rectal prolapse occurs when dysfunctional pelvic floor muscles or chronic straining displaces the rectum into the dorsal pelvic floor wall.