Men’s Pelvic Health: Demystifying What’s Going On ‘Down There’
First off, you’re not alone. 8-10% of all men will experience pelvic pain in their lifetime. Many times these conditions go unidentified and untreated. You may have sought out treatment before and experienced a frustrating cycle of being passed from doctor to doctor with little to no solutions or relief. We’re here to help you find answers and get relief from issues that are impacting your life.
What Do Pelvic Floor Muscles Do?
You can think of your pelvic floor muscles like canopy with the front and back located on your tailbone and pubic bone and the sides are connected at your sit bones. It’s location allows this hardworking set of muscles to not only control your bladder and bowel, but produce pain-free, longer-lasting erections.
Pelvic pain can start as a minor ache, but can grow into spasms or cramps. This pain is an indication that your pelvic floor muscles are unable to correctly tighten or relax, resulting in pain or discomfort with urination, bowel movement or sex. Pelvic floor issues can also result in abdominal and back pain.
Pelvic Muscles Too Tight? Too Weak?
Pelvic pain in men is typically muscular and is more common the older your get. Tight pelvic muscles are often a culprit of pelvic pain. Athletes get tight pelvic muscles due to overuse. Runners who hold their urine during runs, weightlifters who push heavy weights, and gymnasts who soar to amazing heights are all prone to tight pelvic muscles. Chronic constipation can also cause tightness in the region resulting in pelvic pain. Kegels are exercises commonly associated with pelvic health and help to contract your muscles. However, if your muscles are already too tight, tightening more will cause more pain!
Not sure if your pelvic pain is caused by too tight or too weak muscles? You don’t have to go through a series of trial and error. Work with an expert physical therapist to determine what’s really going on down there. Being aware of these muscles and how they work can also help to prevent future health problems.
Common conditions treated by Pelvic Health Physical Therapy include:
• Urinary Incontinence (involuntary leakage)
• Erectile Dysfunction
• Chronic Constipation
• Perineal Pain
• Testicular / Scrotal Pain
• Penis / Groin Pain
Through a combination of manual therapy techniques, custom exercises, stretching and patient education, your physical therapist will work with you to pinpoint the cause of your pelvic pain or discomfort to create a plan of care that is unique to your body and specific symptoms. Treatment for pelvic floor dysfunction can be thought of the same way any sort of physical therapy treatment is; it’s simply a different part of the body. Your treatment will vary based on your specific condition but may include a combination of:
• Manual therapy techniques, like soft tissue massage and trigger point release, to help locate trigger points and tightness in muscles while also pinpointing the correct muscles to target while exercising.
• Relaxation / Strengthening Techniques and Strategies to either strengthen or weaken improperly functioning muscles.
• Patient Education to learn how to locate specific muscles of the pelvic floor.
• Posture Assessment to improve pelvic floor muscle activity that may decline due to improper spine alignment.
Get answers to what’s causing your pelvic pain. Contact a Men’s Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist today.