“Men’s Health Matters: When Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy Becomes Essential”


Hi friends! I wanted to make a quick blog post to address some questions we’ve received a lot lately from our male/penis-owner patients, which is “Have you seen this before?” or “Is this normal?”. While pelvic floor physical therapy is a specialized field that has gained significant recognition in recent years, it’s often still solely associated with women’s health. If you aren’t very familiar with us at Flex PT ATL, while we do treat women, we see significantly more men with a variety of conditions! Pelvic floor therapy addresses various conditions that affect the pelvic region and can significantly improve men’s quality of life. While having pelvic floor dysfunction in men may not be as openly discussed as women’s health, men can also experience many forms of pelvic dysfunction, such as pelvic pain, erectile pain, pain with ejaculation, dyspareunia, incontinence, erectile dysfunction, and more! In this blog post, we’ll explore different conditions that may necessitate pelvic floor physical therapy for men and a little bit about how we go about helping our patients with these conditions.

  1. Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome (CPPS):
    • CPPS can cause persistent pain and discomfort in the pelvic area. This condition is often misdiagnosed as Prostatitis due to the pelvic pain and wide range of other symptoms this can cause. However, CPPS has a strong muscular component that can be targeted with pelvic floor therapy can help alleviate these symptoms by relaxing tense muscles and improving blood circulation!
    • A therapy session may involve education on how to breathe properly to relax the pelvic floor muscles and structures (or you can read our “Breathing” blog post for a preview at this!), massage and muscle techniques to the pelvic floor itself, as well as surrounding areas such as the inner thighs, glutes, abdomen, and lower back, and specifically tailored stretches and exercises that are patient-specific, which will be aimed at reducing pelvic floor tone initially before creating and adding stability and strength to the pelvic area.
  2. Urinary Incontinence:
    • Stress Incontinence: Men can experience stress incontinence, primarily following prostate surgery. Pelvic floor therapy can help strengthen the muscles responsible for controlling urine flow, reducing leakage. But it’s not just kegels we’d be doing; we’ll also look at specific activities that cause leakage and target them directly. For example, if you like playing basketball, we’ll practice activities such as squatting, jumping, and running without leaking. If you like gardening, we’ll practice bending and pulling activities without leaking. 
    • Urge Incontinence: This condition involves a sudden and intense urge to urinate, often leading to leakage. Pelvic floor exercises can help regain control over these urges. We often find increased pelvic floor tone, so similarly to what is mentioned in the CPPS section, we perform activities to reduce the pelvic floor tone found. We also go over things such as bladder irritants and behavior techniques to physically reduce the frequency and intensity of urge symptoms.
  3. Erectile Dysfunction (ED):
    • Pelvic floor muscles play a crucial role in maintaining and controlling erections. Physical therapy techniques can help improve blood flow, muscle strength, and coordination, which can enhance sexual function. We’ll go over the specifics of which pelvic floor muscles control which part of erection and ejaculation, help in allowing the pelvic floor to move as it should for improved coordination and circulation, and we even use shockwave therapy! Shockwave therapy is a therapy technique where we direct soundwaves into affected tissues, activating stem cells, vastly improving blood flow, and promoting the creation of new blood vessels. All in all, this means much stronger erections, improved ejaculate volume, and improved sensation!
  4. Premature Ejaculation (PE)
    • Premature Ejaculation is defined as consistently ejaculating before desired, inhibiting your sexual experiences and quality. In terms of hard numbers, ejaculation occurring before two minutes has been used to quantitatively define PE. Pelvic physical therapy can help! We’ll use techniques to reduce the tone of the pelvic floor, improve your coordination and control over the muscles of the pelvic floor, and develop behavioral techniques aimed at increasing the time you can last before ejaculation to improve your sexual quality of life.

Conclusion: In short, there are many conditions we treat men for. This blog only went over a few, but we treat a wide range of conditions and, if you are feeling like no other provider understands your condition or has seen your condition before, there is a VERY good chance that we have seen it, treated it, and helped those patients out! If you have any of these symptoms mentioned, or know someone that does, reach out to us so we can help! Don’t feel sequestered and like no one understands you, because at Flex PT ATL, we do. 

Dr. Lance Frank PT, DPT, MPH (He/Him)

Pelvic health for penises, vaginas, and everything in between. Serving as Midtown Atlanta’s pelvic health clinic for frustrated folx with pelvic floor dysfunction.

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