Incontinence Awareness Month – Part 2
Men Have A Pelvic Floor Too!
When most people think about incontinence and pelvic pain, they think about women, but the fact is that men can have these issues as well. While incontinence may not be as common in men (1 in 4 women vs 1 in 9 men), it is still a problem. Researchers are just beginning to delve into this subject, but we have provided you with a brief summary of the causes of incontinence and pelvic pain in men as well as information about how a specialized physiotherapist can treat these symptoms.
Incontinence can be caused as a result of surgery. When a man is diagnosed with Prostate Cancer, it is common for the prostate to be removed. This is called a prostatectomy. While completing this procedure, sometimes the surgeon is forced to remove more than just the prostate because of spreading cancer cells. This may include muscle tissue as well as the sphincter. This, combined with the ensuing scar tissue can cause incontinence as well as pelvic floor pain and erectile dysfunction. In fact, between 20% and 35% of men who have a prostatectomy will develop urinary incontinence.
Pelvic pain in men is often called Chronic Non-Bacterial Prostatitis. This condition is described as having symptoms of inflammation of the prostate and lower urinary tract which causes irritation of the pelvic floor muscles. It imitates a bacterial infection but no infection exists. This is a common condition that most often affects men between the ages of 35 and 50 and can lead to tension in the pelvic floor causing pain as well as sexual dysfunctions. The exact cause of this condition is not yet known, but some potential causes include a past bacterial infection in the prostate, chemical irritation, a virus, and problems with the pelvic floor muscles. Because this condition is not an infection, specialized treatment is required.
Incontinence and pelvic pain can be frustrating and embarrassing to have to deal with. The main thing to remember is that there are treatment options. A Physiotherapist who specializes in Pelvic Health can properly assess what the issues are and what the direct causes are, i.e. weak or tight muscles, muscle instability, nerve damage, etc. Based on this comprehensive assessment, the Pelvic Health Physiotherapist can, together with you, create a treatment plan specific to your condition and needs. This may include some or all of the following treatment options: Pelvic Floor Exercises, Biofeedback, Muscle Stimulation, Bladder/Bowel Retraining, Relaxation Techniques, and Lifestyle Changes including diet, exercise, and stress management.
If you have any questions about what Gateway can do for you or your loved ones, we would be happy to help. Give us a call, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
“I Laughed So Hard I Peed My Pants” by Kelli Berzuk
“Women’s Waterworks, Curing Continence” by Dr. Pauline Chiarelli