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mens pelvic pain

Highlight on Mens Pelvic Pain

June is Men's Health Month

Pelvic health is not only tied to females; males also experience pain in their pelvis including their bladder and rectum, but may also extend to their testicles, penis, prostate, etc. Common mens pelvic pain diagnoses include (but not limited to):

  • chronic testicular pain
  • groin pain/inguinal hernia pain
  • pudendal neuralgia
  • epididymitis
  • post-vasectomy pain
  • anorectal pain
  • levator ani syndrome
  • nonbacterial chronic prostatitis

Common areas of mens pelvic pain are: tip of the penis, lower abdomen, hip flexors (psoas muscle), prostate/urethra and common symptoms include urinary frequency/urgency, painful ejaculation, and "golf-ball-in-the-rectum" discomfort. These above experiences are referred pain from the levator ani muscles, AKA our pelvic floor muscles!

Between 9 and 16% of men of all ages experience prostatitis at some point in their lives. Nonbacterial chronic prostatitis include the following 3 aspects (developed by the National Institutes of Health):

  1. Pain: varies from person to person, but can be localized to the perineum, urethra/prostate, bladder, lower abdomen, low back, tailbone
  2. Urinary symptoms: urinary hesitancy, painful urination, increased urinary frequency/urgency, poor urinary flow, decreased sense of complete bladder emptying
  3. Psychosocial: anxiety, depression, reduced sex drive, reduced self-esteem

As you can see, any of the above diagnoses can be debilitating. There are conservative methods (pelvic PT), medical methods (nerve blocks, medications, etc.) and lifestyle changes that can help with mens pelvic pain (Pelvic PT can help with that, too!). Physical therapy sessions include education, manual therapy, therapeutic exercise, muscle re-education, and breathing/relaxation exercises. Anderson, et al in 2006 found that 70% of patients found a marked or moderate improvement of symptoms who participated in trigger point release and paradoxical relaxation training.

There are also many lifestyle changes that can help. In a nutshell, some evidence-based recommendations for mens pelvic pain include: avoiding alcohol/coffee/spicy foods, eating a well-balanced diet, maintaining strategies to minimize and prevent constipation, experiencing regular ejaculation *in moderation*, avoiding compression of the perineum (i.e. prolonged sitting, bicycling activities), and wearing loose-fitting clothing.

Please refer to our blog for more details on lifestyle modifications you can apply to get on the path to healing and recovery, and be sure to register for our email newsletter for up-to-date news on all things related to mens pelvic health.

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, please contact a pelvic floor PT to help guide you back to pain-free living.

**This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor.

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