Men’s Health Programs
Many of the pelvic floor-related problems described in our Women’s Health programs also affect men. Each physical therapy program is tailored to meet the needs of the individual.
A typical therapy program begins with an initial appointment to evaluate problems and set up a treatment plan. Treatments are usually scheduled once weekly for 6-12 weeks, with each treatment lasting 45-60 minutes. The program may include exercises, education and modalities (the use of therapy equipment). A short home exercise program is a recommended part of the treatment.
Referral from a physician is required for physical therapy services. Please contact your physician regarding a prescription. Physical therapy services are covered by most insurance programs. Women’s health services are offered at all of our clinic locations (Newark and Pickerington), as well as several satellite locations around Columbus, OH.
Incontinence and Voiding Dysfunction
Though men have incontinence much less often than women, the experience is usually more difficult. Men are not accustomed to using garment protection, and leaking urine is very disturbing to most men. Men usually develop incontinence due to problems with the prostate gland. As men age, the prostate gets larger. This usually causes a problem “getting started” with urination, but can occasionally lead to incontinence. Urine leakage occurs most often with removal of the prostate, which happens commonly with cancer treatment. When the prostate is removed, men do not have as much pelvic floor muscle strength or as much ability to prevent urine loss. While physical therapy effectiveness depends on the amount of damage to the nerves and muscles, most men can regain a significant amount of function back, and in many cases full control.
Pelvic pain can occur from a musculoskeletal problem. Most of the time when there is pain, the muscles are too tight, or in “spasm”. Pain can be felt in the pelvis, rectum, penis, bladder or abdomen; possibly even in the low back or upper thighs. Muscle spasm can be treated in many ways, but the most effective is a combination of exercise, deep muscle massage, electrical muscle stimulation and teaching new habits for how you use your body. In many cases pain can be decreased or eliminated with physical therapy.
Prostatitis is a serious medical condition of infection in the prostate gland. This is usually treated with antibiotics, and most people do very well and have no more symptoms. In some men, however, this develops into a more chronic problem. The infection is gone but the pain remains. In many of these cases, pain and spasm develop in the pelvic floor muscles, and it feels like the infection has returned. If the doctor has determined that you do not have infection, but your pain remains, it may be a musculoskeletal problem, and physical therapy may help. Muscle spasm can be treated in many ways, but the most effective is a combination of exercise, deep muscle massage, electrical muscle stimulation, and biofeedback.
Chronic constipation is a common problem in men and women of all ages. If left untreated, the straining involved in emptying your bowels can lead to other problems, such as prolapse, weak or painful pelvic muscles, or urinary and stool leakage. Chronic constipation can happen for many reasons and often includes a musculoskeletal cause. To successfully empty your bowels, you must coordinate and correctly use your stomach muscles, respiratory muscles, and pelvic floor muscles.
The most important part of treatment will be for the therapist to evaluate how you use your muscles when you try to empty your bowels and teach you more effective ways to use your muscles. Treatment may also include positioning techniques, exercises, biofeedback, and discussion of dietary factors.
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