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Importance of Proper Toilet Positioning

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By: Katie Moise PT, DPT

Have you seen the latest internet sensation on Facebook or Instagram? A unicorn pooping rainbows has changed the way we think about using the bathroom and if you haven’t seen it yet, you are missing out!

Most toilets found in the U.S. today position the body into a 90/90 degree angle at the hips and knees. If you have difficulty standing from a low toilet seat and have a raised toilet seat, this angle changes even more. This raised position does not allow the muscles responsible for urination or defecation to fully relax. When we are unable to fully empty, either bowel or bladder, many of us strain or push. Bearing down while on the toilet can lead to many complications including pelvic floor dysfunction. Simply put, in order to allow the pelvic floor muscles to completely relax for bladder elimination and for the anorectal angle to increase for fecal emptying, the knees should be higher than the hips. One study showed people strain less on the toilet when they squat versus when they sit,1 hence the growing popularity of the squatty potty. Using this or any household stool to assist the body into the squatting position will promote healthy bathroom habits and a happy pelvic floor!

If you continue to have problems with elimination or feelings of incomplete emptying, do not hesitate to contact your physician or pelvic floor physical therapist.

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