When it comes to discussing pelvic floor health, the focus is often on women. However, men have a pelvic floor too, and it plays a vital role in their overall well-being. In this blog post, I will explore some of the commonly asked questions with references to some of the older blogs I have written about male pelvic floor dysfunction.
Do Men Have a Pelvic Floor?
Yes, absolutely! Just like women, men have a pelvic floor. The pelvic floor refers to a group of muscles, ligaments, and tissues that form a hammock-like structure at the base of the pelvis. It supports the bladder, rectum, and, in men, the prostate gland. These muscles play a crucial role in controlling urine flow, maintaining proper bowel function, and supporting sexual function. What is missed the most when it comes to understanding pelvic health and the treatment for pelvic floor dysfunction is that the stability of the pelvis, the house whose floor is pelvic floor comes first. You can’t expect to have a nice, strong, and steady floor when the house is unstable, can you? You can read all about the pelvic floor in men in my blog.
What Causes Male Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
I strongly suggest you read my blog fully dedicated to this question and here are some of the presentations of pelvic floor dysfunction:
- Sexual dysfunction
- Pelvic pain
- Painful intercourse
- Tailbone pain
- Chronic hip pain
- Chronic lower back pain
- Sacroiliac joint pain
- And bad posture”
The number one cause of pelvic floor dysfunction I see in my practice has to do with dysfunctional movement. That can be due to lifestyle choices, how you do your workouts, sports, and activities you may be participating in, your ergonomics, previous injuries, and habits that have led to an unstable pelvis. Your pelvis is the ‘house’ that the pelvic floor is the ‘floor’ of and pelvic floor dysfunction has to do with your pelvis, with or without symptoms in the pelvic floor itself.
Can Male Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Be Cured?
The good news is that male pelvic floor dysfunction can often be effectively managed and, in many cases, cured. This is another great question that deserved a whole blog dedicated to it. Here is the list of when conservative treatment is the treatment of choice:
- “Functional assessment of the pelvis, hips, and spine individually and then in groups.
- Visceral assessment of the abdominal organs (external exam).
- Checking the muscles of the pelvis (externally and not necessarily externally), hip stabilizers, and lower spine.
- Assessing the synchronicity of breath in performing certain moves when lying down and when upright.
- Depending on the findings, it is necessary to then do a Postural Neurology assessment to see how off the ‘blueprint’ of movement might be. To understand what this entails, pause and click on Postural Neurology to see why that is so important and then appreciate why your conditions contributing to pelvic floor dysfunction are old.
- Once all these areas are treated, then the internal pelvic floor muscle work should be performed.
- Evaluating the work and activity environment that may be the feeder of the problem.”
Who Treats Male Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
This video sums it all up. While most pelvic floor therapists are physical therapists trained in the field of the pelvic floor, there are other clinicians such as Doctors of Chiropractic, Osteopaths, Occupational Therapists, nurses, and other physicians who may be trained in this field. The right pelvic floor therapist is one who does not just treat you internally. In fact, I believe in stabilizing the ‘house’ before doing anything to the ‘floor’. Breathing is much bigger than the training for pelvic floor therapy emphasizes and I see in my practice that by the time the pelvis, spine, and hips are stabilized and the movement is functional, the symptoms disappear.
Understanding that men have a pelvic floor and that dysfunction can occur is crucial for their overall health. By recognizing the causes, symptoms, and available treatments, men can take proactive steps to manage and improve their pelvic floor health. Remember, taking care of your pelvic floor is a vital part of maintaining a healthy and active life as a man.
If you suspect to have pelvic floor dysfunction or not happy with your pelvic floor dysfunction therapy, contact me.