Male Pelvic Health

An estimated 8% to 10% of all men will suffer from pelvic pain at some point in their lives, according to statistics. Frustratingly, the American Physical Therapy Association, as well as many other medical organizations, still refer to pelvic pain as a “women’s health issue.” Equally frustrating is that many pelvic floor physical therapists are not trained to evaluate and treat a male patient with pelvic pain.

This is not the case at PHRC, where our entire staff of physical therapists have had extensive training evaluating and treating male patients.

 

Our male patients often present with one or a combination of the following symptoms:

man

  • penile/scrotal/perineal or anal pain
  • post-ejaculatory pain
  • erectile dysfunction
  • tailbone pain/coccydynia
  • pelvic pain that interferes with sitting and exercise
  • urinary urgency, frequency and hesitancy
  • decreased force of urinary stream
  • constipation
  • groin pain
  • sacroiliac joint dysfunction

Associated Diagnoses

Commonly, our male patients are misdiagnosed with Chronic Nonbacterial Prostatitis, even though their cultures are often negative. Other diagnoses associated with Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome (CPPS) include:

If you are suffering from chronic pelvic pain, PHRC is going to be an essential part of your recovery. They have been for me.

Erectile Dysfunction

Studies show that Erectile Dysfunction affects up to 60% of men by the age
of 50. ED can be caused by numerous factors such as weight, cardiovascular
health, medication side effects, and musculoskeletal dysfunction.

The physical therapists at PHRC are trained to identify musculoskeletal
issues that can cause ED and develop and individualized treatment plan.
Research shows that an individualized pelvic floor muscle training program
can improve erectile function in 75% of men.

Post-Prostectomy Rehabilitation

Studies show that 80% of men experience urinary incontinence and erectile
dysfunction following a radical prostatectomy. The good news is that
research also shows that pelvic floor physical therapy can reduce the
incidence of these disorders if done prior to surgery. Several studies have
shown that post-surgical pelvic floor PT can reduce or eliminate
incontinence and restore erectile function. As a result, physical therapy
should be considered part of the surgical process.

The physical therapists at PHRC are trained to identify musculoskeletal
issues that can cause ED and develop and individualized treatment plan.

Evaluation and Treatment

During a  patient’s first appointment at PHRC a.k.a. the “evaluation appointment,” a physical therapist will take an extensive medical history. Following the history, the physical therapist will perform a thorough external and internal musculoskeletal examination. You are always welcome to have another individual in the room during evaluation and/or treatment.

Your initial evaluation may include:

  • Postural and structural assessment
  • Evaluation of connective tissue in the abdomen, back, pelvis and lower extremities
  • Myofascial evaluation of the pelvic girdle muscles
  • Examination to identify myofascial trigger points in the pelvic girdle and pelvic floor muscles
  • Pelvic floor examination (done by gently inserting a gloved, lubricated, finger into the anus) to assess muscle tone, motor control, strength, nerve and coccyx tenderness
  • Evaluation of muscle strength
  • Skin inspection
  • Peripheral altered neurodynamics testing/palpation

ID-10087525Following the physical examination, your physical therapist will discuss your physical findings, their assessment, and your prescribed treatment plan. This will include the suggested frequency and duration of physical therapy. For local patients,  physical therapy treatments are weekly and one-hour in length. Usually a patient will undergo eight weekly sessions, at which time we will perform a re-evaluation and set new goals based on progress. A patient with pelvic pain is typically seen at least 12 times; however, the duration may vary based on the severity and chronicity of the problem.

The treatment you will receive at PHRC will be 100% one-on-one physical therapy. You will never be left alone in a room hooked to a machine, or left in the care of a PT’s assistant.

In addition, at PHRC we embrace a multidisciplinary treatment approach, meaning that our therapists draw from all appropriate medical disciplines to develop a comprehensive treatment plan for our patients. Toward that end, we have established a wide network of pelvic floor specialists throughout the country that we regularly draw from to round out our patients’ healing. Once your team of providers is in place, we embrace the role of team leader. In that role, we communicate and coordinate with all other providers as well as recommend any adjunct treatments that we believe can play a role in your healing.

Probably my best interaction with medical providers EVER.

Another important tenet of our care is patient communication. Prior to your first appointment and throughout the treatment process, you will have access to your PT to ask questions or discuss concerns. It is our commitment that in every area of treatment, we will take that extra step (or leap!) to ensure that you receive the best treatment possible to meet your goals.