Do This With Your Elbows For A Better Poop

Pooping is just a normal part of life. However, many people struggle to go to the bathroom regularly. Using the right posture, like resting your elbows on your knees, can prevent strain, giving you a better experience. It's also beneficial when conditions like constipation strike.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, constipation occurs when you have less frequent bowel movements. Medically speaking, it's fewer than three bowel movements a week. However, how often you poop can vary by person. Some individuals have several bowel movements daily, so going for one or two days can lead to hard, dry stools. Additionally, other people only regularly go a few times a week, so constipation takes longer. Regardless of the amount of time, your stools can be hard to pass, painful, and make you feel like they are still stuck in your intestines. Lifestyle factors, diet changes, medications, and medical conditions are known to bring on bouts of constipation, so finding ways to get some relief, like perfecting your pooping posture, can make your stomach feel better.

Find out why resting your elbows on your knees makes going number two easier, as well as the risk factors that come with straining when you poo.

Create the perfect pooping posture

If you live in the United States, toilet design is standard. However, research published in the Journal of Education and Health Promotion states that the design of toilets is not optimal for the complete evacuation of stool from the bowels. Per the study, the best position for pooping is the squat position. Currently, conventional toilets have your legs at a 90-degree angle when using the toilet. Therefore, Medical News Today suggests using a footstool to help raise your knees higher than the hips to get the squat position.

Additionally, Cochrane UK noted you need to be leaning forward on the elbows to help reduce the need to strain. Your elbows should also be rested on your knees, getting more into a squat. This position helps to relax the puborectalis muscle and anal sphincter, which straightens out the kink in the rectum and allows things to open. Your poo can more naturally pass through without the need to grunt or push.

Medical News Today notes that using the restroom when the urge strikes is best. While you can delay the natural release of waste from the body, this can cause it to stagnate in the intestines, leading to complications. Moreover, creating regular pooping times can get your body into a natural rhythm.

Risks of straining to poop

Everyone stains to poop once in a while. However, regularly straining to use the bathroom can lead to problems like hemorrhoids. This condition happens when the veins in the anus and rectum become swollen and bleed. Both internal and external hemorrhoids can develop, causing pain, irritation, itching, and discomfort, according to the Mayo Clinic. While some people are more prone to hemorrhoids, limiting straining can help prevent them.

Furthermore, those constantly straining to go poop open themselves up to anal fissures. PerĀ Johns Hopkins Medicine, anal fissures are painful tears in the skin of the anus from forcing the anal mucosa to stretch beyond standard capacity. The tears have a hard time closing due to the repeated need to use the bathroom, so about 40% of people develop chronic fissures. Symptoms include burning during bowel movements, visible tears, and bright red blood. Changing your diet, taking warm baths, and fiber supplements can help them heal.

Healthline states that straining can also cause a hiatal hernia, a tear in the upper part of the stomach. This can lead to complications like acid reflux and stomach issues. It's also possible to experience a rectal prolapse, which is where the intestinal lining comes out of your anus. This condition requires emergency medical treatment.