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What is Pelvic Health in Men?

February 10 | 2022
Posted by Erin Mills Physiotherapy

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Pelvic health in men is a topic lacking attention, recognition, and research.  More specifically, issues with the pelvic floor affect many men and can be very disruptive to their lives.  Consequently, pelvic floor physiotherapy helps us accept, understand and treat the pelvic related issues for men.

Pelvic health

Causes of pelvic health issues for men

There are several pelvic health issues for men.  For example, some of the common problems faced by men are:

Incontinence

  • 1 in 9 men are incontinent
  • Incontinence means loss of urine in small volume or dribbling by coughing, sneezing, laughing, lifting, exercise or transitional movements.
  • Risk Factors for incontinence include Obesity, Chronic illness, Medication, Smoking, Chronic straining, Radical Prostatectomy, and Prostate enlargement
  • Consequently, there are a lot of social issues related to incontinence, including:
    • Decreased self esteem
    • Depression
    • Isolation
    • Reduced social activity
    • Reduced/Disrupted physical activity

Erectile dysfunction 

  • There may be physical or psychological factors that could cause erectile dysfunction.
  • Risk factors can include Diabetes, heart conditions, tobacco use, being overweight, drug or alcohol use or any psychological conditions.

Pelvic pain syndrome 

  • Pelvic pain syndrome can include a number of different conditions.
  • More specifically, pelvic pain includes  or pressure/ throbbing in pelvis, rectum, or genitals.
  • Additionally, there may also be bowel and bladder problems.

Nocturia 

  • Waking at night multiple times for voiding.

Tight Pelvic Floor

  • The pelvic muscles around your sacrum and pelvis are like a hammock supporting your internal organs.
  • They contract for preventing dribbling and relax for urination.
  • Therefore, tightness through these muscles may interfere with their normal function.

Hypertonic Vs Hypotonic Muscles 

  • A hypertonic muscle is a muscle in too much tension, which causes pain or urgency of the bowel and bladder.
  • In contrast, hypotonic or low muscle tone may not be able to hold the pelvic structures in place and cause prolapse.
  • Additionally, there could also be a mixed presentation involving both situations.

Chronic Constipation

  • Constipation is a common cause of damage to muscles and ligaments around pelvic area.
  • Consequently, it can result in over-stretching of nerves due to prolonged and repetitive strain
  • Therefore, chronic constipation can lead to weak muscles around the pelvis.

Additionally, falls, traumas and sports can injure the pelvic floor muscles

Precautions for pelvic health issues in men 

Modifications of risk factors helps prevent and keep up the pelvic health of men.  Some of these modifications include:

  • Reduction of the strain on the pelvic floor muscles
  • Weight loss with an appropriate diet
  • Working with your doctor to manage diabetes and heart disease.
  • Limiting alcohol
  • Stopping the use of tobacco and drugs
  • Regular exercise
  • Mental health care

What is Pelvic Health Physiotherapy? 

Firstly, the Registered Physiotherapist will take a history of the symptoms and any relevant medical information.  Secondly, the therapist will examine the external and internal muscles and soft tissues related to the pelvic area.  Specifically, this helps in identifying any dysfunctions or limitations.  Finally, the Physiotherapist will then develop an individually tailored treatment plan based on the findings and diagnosis.

Physiotherapy treatment for pelvic health can include:

  • Manual Therapy like mobilization, myofascial and trigger point release
  • Exercises like stretching, strengthening, and specific posture correction and breathing exercises
  • EMS – electric muscle stimulation helping contract the weak muscles
  • Biofeedback – Helps you understand how and when to effectively activate the muscles
  • TENS to relive pain
  • Bowel and bladder tracking
  • Education
  • Self care – Avoid pushing or straining when urinating. Relaxing methods such as warm baths, stretching with yoga, and maintaining good posture helps the pelvic floor muscles.

All in all, don’t let pelvic health issues to affect your life.  Remember prevention is better than cure.  Call PhysioNow today to book your assessment!

 

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