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Prostate Pelvic Health

Updated: May 7

I’m sure you’ve all listened to your wife or female friends talk about her pelvic floor exercises, but did you know you need them too? The prostate can become problematic for many men and should be checked from your 50s or from your 40s with any family history of Prostate Cancer.


Following a prostatectomy 66% of men will still be experiencing symptoms of urinary incontinence six months after surgery.  However, research shows us that 95% of men can regain continence with 6 months of pelvic floor exercises.


You can also have problems with continence without having your prostate removed, for example, with issues such as, benign prostatic hyperplasia, and benign prostatic obstruction or the effects of ADT or radiation therapy. As well as this, as men age erectile dysfunction becomes a more common complaint. Research shows us that pelvic floor exercises play an integral role in the long-term management of erectile dysfunction. 


The technique for completing these exercises is very different from what women do to contract the same muscles, so make sure you learn how to do them properly. It is also important to note that if you are getting prostate surgery, the best approach is to start these exercises before your surgery as this allows us to teach you correct technique while pain is not a factor. Pelvic Health is also important for patients going through ADT and/or radiation therapy.


It has been shown that Pelvic Health issues can cause reduced quality of life, work absenteeism and depression. The emotional stress can also affect relationships with family. From my experience of treating men from this group unfortunately most of them suffer in silence. Re-read the stats, you are not alone in this! Talk to your friends, golf buddies, or join a support group, find a community to help you, who understand what you are going through. The Prostate Cancer Foundation New Zealand is a great resource and has support groups available for different regions.


Pelvic health therapy involves using exercise and other techniques to manage symptoms. We know coming to an appointment like this can be intimidating, we take these sessions at your pace, and you are always welcome to bring a support person.


Here at Physio HQ, Alex creates a safe space for you to talk about your pelvic health concerns in a non-judgemental, supportive environment, and will help give you the tools you need to manage your symptoms and return to your normal activities. Email her directly on alex@physiohq.co.nz, to ask any questions and find out if we can help you!

 

Ali, M., Hutchison, D. D., Ortiz, N. M., Smith, R. P., and Rapp, D. E. (2022). “A narrative review of pelvic floor muscle training in the management of incontinence following prostate treatment” Translational Andrology and Urology 11(8): 1200-1209

Milios, J. E., Ackland, T. R., and Green, D. J. (2020) “Pelvic Floor Muscle Training and Erectile Dysfunction in Radical Prostatectomy: A Randomised Control Trial Investigating a Non-Invasive Addition to Penile Rehabilitation”. Sexual Medicine 8(3): 414-421

Nahon, I. (2021) Physiotherapy management of incontinence in men. Journal of Physiotherapy 67:87-94

Baumann, F. T., Reimer, N., Gockeln, T., Reike, A., Hallek, M., Ricci, C., Zopf, E. M., Schmid, D., Taaffe, D., Newton, R. U., Galvao, D. A. and Leitzmann, M. (2021) “Supervised pelvic floor muscle exercise is more effective than unsupervised pelvic floor muscle exercise at improving urinary incontinence in prostate cancer patients following radical prostatectomy – a systematic review and meta-analysis” Disability and Rehabilitation 44(19): 5374-5385

Van Hemelrijck, M., Kessler, A., Sollie, S., Challacombe, B., & Briggs, K. (2019). The global prevalence of Erectile Dysfunction: a review. BJU International, 124(4), 587-599

Rosenbaum TY. Pelvic floor involvement in male and female sexual dysfunction and the role of pelvic floor rehabilitation in treatment: A literature review. J Sex Med 2007;4:4–13.

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