Unlike what most people think, individuals with a penis have a pelvic floor just as those with a vagina. The pelvic floor is the floor of the pelvis and it can never have an issue without impacting the rest of the pelvis just as issues of the pelvis will always impact the pelvic floor. Male pelvic floor dysfunction essentially has the same symptoms as female pelvic floor dysfunction only instead of impacting the female reproductive system, it involves that of males.
Anatomy Of The Pelvic Floor
In my blog, “Pelvic Floor Exercises for Women”, I detailed the anatomy of the pelvic floor: “The pelvic floor, unlike what most people think, is more than the area where the vagina or penis, anus, and the tissue in between is. The pelvic floor involves the inner lining of the pelvic inlet as well.
The pelvic inlet is like a 3-piece-bowl and these muscles line the bowl holding the bladder, uterus, ovaries/prostate, and intestines which can get ‘squished’ or compressed by the pressure coming from above. This pressure is influenced by our breathing, posture (and postural distortion), spinal abnormalities such as Scoliosis, Pectus Excavatum (pushed in chest), and Pectus Carniatum (pushed out chest).
Since the bowl has 3 pieces that meet as 2 joints in the back forming the Sacro-iliac joints (or SI joint between Sacrum and Ilium), and in the front to form the Pubic Symphysis or the pubic bone, the alignment and health of these joints play a role, and in women, because of pregnancy and childbirth, they can get compromised.
The hips form a joint with the Acetabulum, or socket, and the lower back sits on top of the pelvis. Their direct attachment to the ‘bowl’, and the impact of the lower portion of the mid-back on the lower back directly influence the integrity and alignment of the bowl. If you are thinking that the pelvic floor is unstable and weak, that is not true by any means. The joints are reinforced by an intricate network of connective tissue and the flexibility of these joints is quite strong so you should look at it like an earthquake-resistant building that can withstand quite a bit but the building should be inspected after each jolt and if minor fixings are taken care of, it will be well prepared for the next jolt.”
What Causes Male Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
Please make sure to check out the recommended reading below to understand what pelvic floor dysfunction is. You see, if pelvic floor dysfunction was the name of a book, it would have many chapters including:
- Sexual dysfunction
- Pelvic pain
- Painful intercourse
- Tailbone pain
- Chronic hip pain
- Chronic lower back pain
- Sacroiliac joint pain
- And bad posture
There are medical conditions that can lead to some of the presentations of pelvic floor dysfunction, but this blog is not about those conditions.
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, 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.
What Is The Treatment For Male Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
Regardless of the root cause of pelvic floor dysfunction, it only makes sense to remove the cause and whatever ‘feeds’ that cause. Sometimes the ’cause’ is not removable! For instance, Multiple Sclerosis can lead to pelvic floor dysfunction but that does not mean that we do nothing about pelvic floor dysfunction.
We need to stabilize the pelvis as a whole and whatever is attached to it. The dysfunction happens when the pelvis is unstable and the stability does not come from internal manual therapy of the area!! Yes, when the area of ‘fault’ is only reached from the anus, vagina, or pelvis we are only addressing the area reached with the finger when internal manual therapy is performed. It makes no sense to think that is sufficient because there is more to the dysfunction than what is reachable using the finger.
I have written a blog on the most comprehensive treatment for pelvic floor dysfunction that I strongly recommend you read; if you need help with your pelvic floor dysfunction, contact me.