Pelvic Floor Dysfunction in Men: Prostrate Surgery
Pelvic floor health has been the focus of our blogs for the past few months and the series is incomplete without mentioning conditions that afflict men. The usual assumption is that only women have pelvic floor dysfunction, but that couldn’t be more wrong. A lot of men, especially post middle age, can develop pelvic floor issues too. In this blog we discuss these dysfunctions in men and the case study of how a 68-year-old man healed his pelvic floor muscles after a prostrate surgery.
Pelvic floor dysfunctions in men
As the pelvic floor muscles support the excretory and reproductive organs for both males and females, these are crucial to the overall health of an individual. Tightness or weakness in the pelvic floor muscles can affect men and cause:
• low back pain,
• testicular pain,
• penile pain,
• pain pre and post ejaculation,
• urinary incontinence
• erectile dysfunction
Sometimes, these are caused by medical conditions like prostatitis or pudendal neuralgia. And in some cases, it can be caused due to high impact exercises, persistent heavy weightlifting, being obese, having persistent cough or even post-surgery in the pelvic region.
No matter what the cause, the pelvic floor muscles can be trained like other muscles in the body and strengthened to get relief from the symptoms, under the guidance of a pelvic floor expert.
Case Study: Prostrate Cancer
Shyam(name changed), a 68 years old man underwent a surgery from the removal of his prostrate. He had an active cancer and his prostrate had enlarged. When the prostrate gland is removed, a part of the internal sphincter is also removed with it as it is connected. It is the sphincter that regulates the flow of urine and makes urination a voluntary action. After his surgery, Shyam started experiencing urinary incontinence.
Control during excretion also comes from the contraction of pelvic floor muscles. Thus, to compensate for the removal of the sphincter, Shyam required retraining of his pelvic floor muscles to regain control.
As he had undergone radiation to treat his cancer, and as a result of surgery, his muscles were extremely weak. He has lost tone in his entire body. Three to four months after his surgery, he came to Persis Elavia Therapies at Moushu’s Pilates Studio in Mumbai and we put him on a toning Pilates program.
Starting with activating the core and recruiting the pelvic floor, we built up his program to strengthen his lower limbs, working on glutes, quads and hip adductors. Strong glutes aid in alignment of the pelvic and indirectly help the pelvic floor muscles better.
We taught him the imagery of lifting the pelvic floor up and closing the doors shut. While imagining this we contract the puborectalis muscle which works from back to front and closes all openings.
The visual imagery and Pilates training which strengthened his muscles, gradually reduced incontinence in daily activities. Although, if he does strenuous activities, it causes stress incontinence. However, after four to six months of training, in his day-to-day movements, he feels more relieved and less on edge.
Visit a specialist
Pelvic pain and dysfunctions aren’t and shouldn’t be a cause of embarrassment or discomfort for anyone. Whether you have urinary incontinence, pain or have had a pelvic surgery, visit a pelvic floor specialist to get yourself examined. Our studios in Mumbai and Pune have experts who can help you overcome this problem. Book an appointment today.
We have a series of videos that can help with Pelvic Floor rehab on our Youtube Channel. Here is one of them:
A writer and Pilates instructor by profession, and a lawyer by education, Tarannum is passionate about art, travel, fitness and food. She has been practicing Pilates for the past five years at Moushu’s Pilates Studio and has experienced the transforming effects of it on her body, firsthand.