Medically reviewed by Dr. Paul Song M.D
Article at a Glance
- Pelvic floor disorders are responsible for causing pelvic pain in about 50% of CPPS cases.
- Physiotherapy can help relieve pain and dysfunction from muscle spasms, weakness, and tightness.
- Pelvic floor muscle dysfunction can also cause sexual problems and bladder or bowel incontinence.
The Renew XY Health Program for Men (also called the XY Program) is a program that helps train men with chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CPPS) how to strengthen, relax or rehabilitate their pelvic floor muscles. This program was developed by Isa Herrera, MSPT, CSCS, a physical therapy professional located in New York. The XY Program promotes a whole-body approach to healing men’s pelvic pain and pelvic disorders. These disorders are often disguised or misdiagnosed as prostatitis even though most of these problems actually have nothing to do with the prostate gland itself. It is estimated that pelvic floor disorders cause prostatitis symptoms in about 50% of the men with CPPS.
The Renew XY Health Program is a multidisciplinary approach to pain. It focuses on physiotherapy for pelvic floor muscle (PFM) dysfunction in order to teach and train the patient to achieve relief from pelvic and related pain. The root of suffering for men with PFM dysfunction manifests in a number of complaints according to the XY Program Director including the following:
- muscle spasms
- trigger points
- scar adhesions
- painful sex
- erectile dysfunction
- “burning” orgasms
- penile and testicular pain
- pelvic floor pain and weakness
- bowel and bladder dysfunction
The XY Program provides patients with the tools, exercises, and techniques for relieving pain that best match their individual symptoms and causes. A patient starting the XY Program enters a sort of “contract” with his therapist. This contract represents a commitment to the healing journey and to put in the daily effort and time required to heal oneself.
Renew XY Health Program for Men Techniques
Some of the techniques and tools in the XY health program include exercises, pain relief methods, and establishing a mind-body connection. Exercises men might do include the following:
- pelvic floor stretching
- external pelvic muscle stretching
- pelvic dilator stretching
- deep and superficial massage
- myofascial foam rolling
- using Pilates balls for strengthening
- yoga exercises
Pain relief methods that may be employed include:
- trigger point release
- myofascial release
In order to foster the mind-body connection, the program may teach some exercises in promoting better psychological health and relaxation including:
- breathing techniques
- stress reduction
- herbal remedies
One part of the XY Program is keeping a journal. Maintaining this “Pain and Progress Diary” can help men to map their progress as they continue to take control of their pain management and eventually heal themselves using the techniques provided. Sometimes it can be hard to see progress, especially when it is going slowly. A diary can help patients see that they are making progress and also figure out what methods are most effective and provide the best results for them.