Pelvic Pain in Men
Often we have men that come to see us after years of trying to establish the cause of their pain. The usual comment is “If only I had known about this years ago”.
A pain may start in a pelvic organ such as your bladder, bowel or prostate. It may also start in muscles or joints following an injury. it may start following prolonged stress with associated muscle tension.
The original problem may clear up or it may remain, but there is now pain from tight painful pelvic muscles and a change in the nerve pathways that send pain messages to the brain. Both types of pain can’t be seen from the outside and often no sign of pathology can be seen on scans or during operations. Often the pain from pelvic muscle spasm can become the worst part of the pain. It truly can be a cramp on the inside of the pelvis.
An Australian study of men in 2009 found that 8% had urogenital pain of some kind.
Why is this occurring?
It is often unclear why pelvic pain is ongoing. But it can often be traced to one of the following precipitating factors:
Infection to the bladder/ prostate
Trauma to the pelvic area
Exercise that involves overuse of “core muscles”
Psychological factors such as stress, anxiety
Overactive/ Tight pelvic floor muscles
What are the signs and symptoms?
Pain when sitting – that may be in their tailbone (coccyx), bottom, pubic area or lower back
A pressure or throbbing in the pelvis, rectum or genitals
A burning pain in the scrotum, penis or crotch
Bowel problems – a sense of incomplete emptying, pain opening their bowels, inability to pass wind or anal pain
Bladder problems – the need to go to the toilet frequently, slow passage of urine, or bladder pain
Sexual pain during intercourse or orgasm
Hip, groin or abdominal pain
Social withdrawal, loss of self-esteem, behavioural or emotional changes, anxiety or depression
How can we help?
A comprehensive assessment of the pelvic floor muscles to determine the cause of your pain can be undertaken. We can teach you where your pelvic floor muscles are and just how to relax your muscles them so you regain conscious control of your them.
Release of any tight bands of muscle in the pelvic floor that might be referring pain to other areas might be performed.
We can provide relaxation strategies to help manage your stress which can lead to muscle tension and give you stretches for the pelvic floor and surrounding muscles.
IMPORTANT: IT IS OUR CLINIC POLICY THAT YOU MUST HAVE A REFERRAL FROM A MEDICAL DOCTOR PRIOR TO SEEING A PHYSIOTHERAPIST FOR PELVIC PAIN. THIS IS TO ENSURE YOUR CONDITION HAS BEEN APPROPRIATELY MEDICALLY INVESTIGATED TO RULE OUT ANY NON-MUSCULO-SKELETAL CAUSE OF YOUR SYMPTOMS.