You might be reading this and thinking, “hmmm, I have heard of pelvic health care, but that is only for those with female anatomy or new mothers who are having trouble with urine leakage or tissue healing.” The truth is, everyone has a pelvis and a pelvic floor and deserves it to function well! If you are experiencing any of the symptoms discussed in this blog, I encourage you to seek care to improve your quality of life.
Those with male anatomy can struggle with similar pelvic health concerns to those with female anatomy, including, but not limited to:
- urinary frequency
- urinary leakage
- incomplete voiding
- difficulty initiating a urine stream
- anal fissures
- fecal incontinence
- gas incontinence
- pelvic pain
- abdominal pain
- sexual dysfunction and/or pain with sexual activity
- abdominal or pelvic post-operative pain
Conditions specific to those with male anatomy are:
- prostate issues – related to enlargement, post-surgery, or post cancer treatment
- erectile dysfunction
- testicular or scrotal pain
- penile pain
- painful ejaculation
You may now be wondering how pelvic health physical therapy can help your pelvic health concerns?
If you have any new onset of urinary issues, bowel issues, sexual issues, or pelvic pain, it is important to consult with your doctor prior to physical therapy treatment. Your doctor will complete a clinical assessment and possibly additional testing to rule out any serious medical conditions. Once cleared by your physician, an assessment with a pelvic health physical therapist can determine whether any musculoskeletal dysfunction is contributing to your symptoms. Muscle dysfunction can mean muscles that are too weak, too tense, uncoordinated, and/or poorly communicating with the rest of your body. External and intra-rectal pelvic floor muscle assessment techniques can be utilized to help determine the cause of dysfunction.
The pelvic floor muscles are involved in proper urinary, bowel, sexual, and postural function. However, you are not just a pelvis, so a physical therapist will look at your movements and muscle control throughout your whole body to see if there are any links to your pelvic symptoms. One example of this is breathing. How we breathe impacts movement in the pelvic floor and pressure management in our abdominal cavity, both of which can impact pelvic floor muscle functioning. Based on clinical findings and your unique history, you and your therapist will work together to determine a treatment plan that fits your needs and works towards meeting your individual goals. This will involve pelvic floor muscle retraining and integration with other body systems and potentially some behavioral changes.
Think you might benefit from working with a pelvic health physical therapist?
Stride Physio offers pelvic health physical therapy services. If Stride is not the right fit for you, here are some additional provider resources.