Prostatitis is a condition in men that involves inflammation of the prostate. The prostate is a gland that makes the fluid that goes into semen, it surrounds the urethra at the neck of the bladder. Prostatitis can either be acute or chronic where symptoms can come and go over at least 3 months. 50% of men develop some form of prostatitis at some point in their life.
There are 4 main categories of prostatitis
- Acute Bacterial Prostatitis – This is caused by a bacterial infection, treated by antibiotics and is resolved relatively quickly.
- Chronic Bacterial Prostatitis – This is also caused by a bacterial infection, but the bacteria is trapped in the prostate gland and can cause recurrent UTIs.
- Chronic Prostatitis/ Chronic Pelvic Pain syndrome – Most common type, There is inflammation present but never bacteria present.
- Asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis – There are no symptoms present although inflammation is present.
Type 3 – Chronic Prostatitis is the most common type and the one we want to highlight.
Common symptoms of Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome include:
- Pelvic or Genital Pain – it can be described as burning, shooting or aching sensation felt through the groin, buttocks or inner thighs or pain in the scrotum, testicles or penis
- Bladder frequency, urgency or difficulty with emptying the bladder
- Bowel issues such as pain with bowel movements, constipation
- Pain with sitting
- Sexual dysfunction includes pain before, during or after ejaculation
- Pain with exercises like squatting or lifting
A referral to Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy is often a first line of treatment. Here at Legacy Physical Therapy, we commonly see patients with Chronic Prostatitis. A pelvic floor physical therapist will do a thorough evaluation including an orthopedic assessment looking at your core, back, hips and especially a thorough pelvic floor examination. The pelvic floor in males is assessed very similarly to how the prostate is examined at a physician’s office.
Oftentimes on pelvic exams, people will present with pelvic floor muscles that are in a state of muscle tension, abdominal muscles that are weak and not properly activating and stiffness and/or weakness through the hips and back. Pelvic floor Physical therapy can help with improving pelvic floor muscle tension via different manual therapy approaches, adjusting any bowel or bladder habits that may be contributing to symptoms, and adjusting posture and strengthening the muscles surrounding the pelvis including the hips, core and spine .
If you feel like you are experiencing symptoms of chronic prostatitis and have tried other treatments, consider an evaluation by a pelvic floor physical therapist.
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