Male pelvic pain
Article written about caroline allen on treating men with pelvic pain
It is not uncommon for men to suffer from pelvic pain: it is estimated that 10% of men experience episodes of pelvic pain, however they often have difficulty obtaining either a diagnosis or effective treatment. Men may be diagnosed with prostatitis. When this is an acute bacterial infection it is likely to respond well to a course of antibiotics, but the most common form of prostatitis – non-bacterial chronic prostatitis, does not. This is when a musculoskeletal assessment by a pelvic health physiotherapist is recommended, to look for signs of muscular tension, nerve irritation, joint or soft tissue restrictions.
Symptoms of male pelvic pain may include:
Pain in the penis, scrotum, anus/rectum, perineum
Pain in the lower abdomen, groin, sacrum, tailbone
Urinary urgency, frequency, difficulty urinating
Constipation, difficulty or pain with emptying bowels
Pain during/after ejaculation
Treatment may include:
Manual therapy externally and/or internally to restore normal movement to any joint, muscle or neural restrictions
Breathing exercises and instruction on coordinating the diaphragm, abdominal and pelvic floor muscles
A safe, paced, exercise program
For more information on treatment see our blog post.
The tiny prostate gland, which produces part of the seminal fluid that provides nutrients to sperm, can create some mighty big problems for men. Prostatitis, for example, is an inflammation of the prostate that can cause pelvic pain and make urination difficult. Chronic Prostatitis affects about 11% of Canadian men under 50 years of age. Although it’s a complex problem, research from the Canadian Physiotherapy Association shows that physiotherapy can relieve the symptoms of chronic prostatitis by correcting muscle imbalances through the stretching and strengthening of the muscles in the hips, abdomen and pelvic floor. Even a healthy male who hasn’t had prostate cancer or surgery can develop pain in and around the genitals, rectum, pelvis, groin, abdomen, hips, thighs or buttocks, explains Nancy Dowker, a registered physiotherapist at Pelvic Support Physiotherapy in Ottawa. With a condition like prostatitis, the pelvic floor muscles often go into a protective muscle spasm. Holding those muscles tight creates tension that can cause problems in the pelvic core. Physiotherapy can help to relieve chronic pelvic pain caused by prostatitis by teaching men to let their muscles relax. While not all physiotherapists treat pelvic pain, those who do have special training and can offer a personalized treatment plan to help relieve symptoms. They may also be able to explain how to manage pain better through relaxation and breathing strategies.