Why is BM important?

Bowel Management

Why is BM important?

Bowel_management7Paralysis often damages the nerves that control the bowel. The best way to prevent bowel accidents is to follow a schedule.

You want to teach your bowels when to have a movement.


Factors affecting bowel management

Successful bowel management depends on a number of different factors, some of which you can influence:

  • Regular, healthy eating habits
  • Regular management of bowel movements
  • Checking the result of bowel movements
  • Previous medical history
  • Current medication
  • Level of injury
  • Diet and fluids – five a day
    (Cameron et al 1996)
  • Activity, such as exercise or standing
  • Level of independence
  • Lifestyle
  • Psychological and emotional factors (Krogh et al 1997)

“Establishing an effective bowel program is critical because incontinence may interfere with a patient’s physical, psychological, social, recreational and sexual function” (DeLisa + Kirshblum 1997)


Psychological impact:

After loss of mobility, loss of bowel control is the next most distressing aspect of SCI (Glickman and Kamm 1995)

Patients’ comments:

“I felt physically sick when I first had to do it”

“I find that it is the bowel and bladder management that ruin my quality of life. The bowel management is degrading and barbaric and in this day and age something should be done to resolve this problem”

“It’s a bloody nuisance, it’s one of the biggest nuisances of spinal cord injury”