I hear it all of the time from my male pelvic pain patients – they’ve spent months, if not years, seeing different medical providers trying to figure out the cause of their pelvic pain. They have been on multiple rounds of anti-biotics that maybe help a little, but the pain is still there. They’ve seen multiple healthcare providers, most of who say they don’t really know the cause of the pain and send them off to see someone else. Or, worst of all, they’ve even been told: “it’s all in your head”.
I know it sounds discouraging, but this is the story I hear more often than not. Men with pelvic pain can feel alone and don’t know what’s causing their pain.
Well, I’m here to say you are NOT alone, and there is still another route you can take to decrease your pelvic pain!
Did you know that up to 20% of men will experience pelvic pain at some point in their life? That is 1 in 5! So, as you can see, male pelvic pain really is common. This pain can present anywhere in the pelvis or lower abdomen. It also may cause testicular or even penile pain. What a lot of people don’t know, including other medical providers, is your pelvic floor can be a major cause of your pain!
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles just like anywhere else in your body. If these muscles aren’t working the way they should, or are tense and overactive, they cause pain. They can also cause referral of pain to different structures, such as the testicles. Often, when we press on these tight pelvic muscles, we can reproduce the pain you are feeling elsewhere. This means that the muscles are causing that pain!
Now ask yourself, who better to treat muscular pain than a physical therapist? And who better to treat pelvic muscle pain than a well-trained pelvic health physical therapist? Physical therapists have years of musculoskeletal training, oftentimes more training regarding muscular pain than your other physicians. Where your other medical provider may be missing the source for your pain may be coming from your muscles, your physical therapist can very quickly diagnose this and lead you into your treatment and pain relief.
With that being said, it is also important you find a pelvic health physical therapist with training specifically in male pelvic floor disorders. If your therapist only assesses your hips or lower back but does not directly assess your pelvic floor, you may not be getting as specific treatment as your body needs and may not see the results you want. It is very important to find a PT well-versed in male pelvic floor disorders who will work with you as a team in order to get the pain relief you need!
If you have found yourself stuck in the cycle I described above, it’s probably time to see a pelvic health physical therapist.
We will be able to work with you to determine if your pelvic floor muscles are causing your pelvic pain, and be able to develop a specific treatment plan to allow you to return to life pain-free!
To read more about male pelvic pain, see my blog: Men can have pelvic pain, too!