What is Men's Pelvic Health?
Do You Have:
- Surrounding groin or genital pain that worsens with sitting?
- Trouble with urination, defecation, or sexual intercourse?
- Urinary or fecal frequency and strong urgency to void?
- Urinary or fecal leakage with coughing, sneezing or exercise?
- Leakage or pain associated with cancer related treatments?
- Pain in your pelvis, low back, or hips?
If so, you may benefit from pelvic floor rehabilitation!Men’s Health is an area of physical therapy that specializes in the rehabilitation of the pelvic floor throughout a man’s lifetime. When the muscles of the pelvic floor weaken, or hold excess tension, they produce a variety of symptoms that range from urinary/fecal incontinence to pelvic pain. With the percentage of male pelvic floor pain and urinary incontinence rising in recent years, the role of men’s health physical therapy has never been more valuable! We understand the topic of men’s health may be a bit difficult to discuss and that the process of reaching a pelvic floor diagnosis may have been a lengthy one, but the physical therapists here, at PT Your Way & Advanced Specialty Care, are here to help! Our men’s health team has been properly trained in treating men with pelvic floor dysfunction, as well as, injuries and pathologies that haven’t responded to conventional physical therapy approaches.
Types of Male Pelvic Floor Dysfunctions We Treat at PT Your Way & Advanced Specialty Care:
Pelvic Pain:Males can experience pain in numerous areas of the pelvic region, including but not limited to the penis, scrotum, and testicles. This pain can be caused by various things, such as muscle spasms of the pelvic floor, hips, and/or abdominal wall, inflammation of the prostate, postoperative pain (hernia, vasectomy, prostatectomy), and/or inflammation/compression of nerves in the spine or pelvic region. Low back pain and abdominal weakness can also contribute to some of these symptoms. Interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome is another condition that affects the pelvic floor that can create pelvic pain, bladder irritation and increased urinary frequency due to lesions inside the bladder wall. Pelvic floor tightness and poor mobility of the bladder and surrounding viscera may accompany this condition, contributing to a various related symptoms.
Sexual DysfunctionThere are various types of sexual dysfunction in males, including erectile dysfunction (ED), ejaculation dysfunction, and infertility. It is important that you get medically screened if you are experiencing any of these conditions, as there are many medical issues that could contribute to this. Once these have been ruled out, physical therapy may be an option to help. Muscles of the pelvic floor or surrounding anatomy may be contributing to these issues if they are not functioning properly (ie. Not contracting properly or have increased muscle spasm).
Bowel and Bladder DysfunctionIncontinence (loss of bowel or bladder control), urinary retention (difficulty voiding), increased urinary frequency, painful urination, or chronic constipation can occur when muscles of the pelvic floor are not functioning properly. The muscles may need to be strengthened or relaxed, depending on what is found during your physical therapy evaluation. Other things, such as low back pain, abdominal weakness, or problems with pelvic alignment may be contributing to these issues, as well. Interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome is another condition that affects the pelvic floor that can create bladder irritation and increased urinary frequency due to lesions inside the bladder wall. Pelvic floor tightness and poor mobility of the bladder and surrounding viscera may accompany this condition.
Post-SurgicalPatients that have undergone prostate removal (prostatectomy) often experience urinary incontinence and/or sexual dysfunction. This is often due to a change in the length of the urethra and trauma to the internal urethral sphincter. Pelvic floor strengthening and re-education is essential to recovery. Patients may also experience adhesions or scar tissue after hernia repair, vasectomy, or cancer related surgery that can create pain or dysfunction. It is important to get this scar tissue more mobile and work on releasing surrounding muscles to promote improved movement and decreased pain throughout the affected areas.
Male Pelvic Health Diagnoses frequently referred for pelvic floor rehabilitation:
- Pelvic Pain & Sexual Pain Dysfunction
- Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome
- Chronic Prostatitis
- Pudendal Neuralgia
- Pain with Erection / Ejaculation / Post Ejaculation
- Testicular, Scrotal, Penile, and/or Groin pain
- Urethral Syndrome
- Levator Ani Syndrome
- Anorectal Pain
- Bowel & Bladder Dysfunction
- Interstitial Cystitis/Painful Bladder Syndrome
- Urinary Urgency / Frequency
- Urinary Retention
- Urinary Incontinence
- Painful Urination
- Bowel Urgency / Frequency
- Fecal Incontinence
- Chronic Constipation
- Non-Relaxing Pelvic Floor
- Post-Surgical Rehab
- Post-Prostatectomy Urinary Incontinence
- Adhesions / Scar tissue after abdominal or cancer related surgery
- Musculoskeletal Dysfunction
- Coccydynia / Tailbone Pain
- Lumbosacral Pain
- Abdominal Wall Hernia
- Sacroiliac Dysfunction
- Low back, hip, groin, pelvic pain that have not resolved with conventional treatment
Treatments:Our clinicians at PT Your Way & Advanced Specialty Care have had extra coursework and experience to help treat male pelvic floor conditions. Depending on the findings of your evaluation, your treatment may include one or more of the following treatment techniques:
- Soft tissue mobilization to restore appropriate muscle length tension and relieve muscle spasm / trigger points.
- Joint mobilization to improve joint mobility and pelvis & spine biomechanical alignment.
- Neuromuscular re-education for retraining of pelvic floor muscle recruitment & strengthening, and improved muscle coordination and sequencing.
- Visceral Manipulation to promote improved mobility, rhythm and balance of your organs.
- Gross whole body strengthening and stability training, and correction of abnormal movement & postural patterns.
- Nutritional assessments
- Individually customized education to each pt with tools to aid in understanding your condition and ways to improve pain and promote symptom reduction.
- Modalities such as biofeedback (sEMG) and electrical stimulation (e-stim) which aid in muscle retraining and symptom reduction. Modalities such as sEMG and E-stim have been found in research to improve the recovery time of male pelvic floor patients.
What to expect during the physical therapy examination:Understanding the present dysfunction is the first step to healing. Therefore, through a comprehensive evaluation of your past medical history, current/recurrent pelvic floor symptoms, and full musculoskeletal physical examination, our trained physical therapists will be able to identify the underlying cause of your pelvic floor dysfunction. The physical therapy assessment more specifically examines the mobility of your joints, muscle length tension, muscle strength, neural involvement, posture, and functional mechanics in order to narrow down contributing factors to your pelvic floor symptoms. Most importantly, external examination of the pelvis & genitalia, and possibly, an internal digital rectal examination will help to shed light on the true function and coordination of the pelvic floor muscles. Your therapist will determine what treatments/examinations are needed in conjunction with patient goals. Here at Physical Therapy Your Way & Advanced Specialty Care, we understand the importance of consistency in care. Therefore, you will work 1-on-1 with the same therapist throughout your rehabilitation. This partnership, will not only aid in improving your symptoms, but provide you with tools to help you control/manage your symptoms.
Men's Health Specialists
Closing Statement:If you or someone you know may benefit from men’s health physical therapy, schedule a consult with us! Regain control of your body here, at PT Your Way & Advanced Specialty Care, where a physical therapist with expertise in pelvic floor dysfunction will work 1-on-1 with you to improve your symptoms and aid in your road to recovery. Our ultimate goal is to get you back to performing the activities in life that you want to enjoy again!
Recommended reference websites:
- International Continence Society
- The International Pelvic Pain Society
- Pudendal Neuralgia Association
- Pelvic Health and Rehabilitation Institute
- American Urogynecologic Society