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Kegel exercises and prostatitis do not go hand in hand. While Kegel exercises help strengthen the pubococcygeus (PC) muscle, which supports the pelvic organs and creates a pelvic floor, these exercises are not recommended for men who are suffering from chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS).
Kegels are done by repetitively clenching or tightening the PC muscle. When you squeeze the PC muscle to strengthen it through Kegels, you create tension in the muscular structure around the pelvic region. This is great for sexual health and helping with urinary symptoms associated with enlarged prostate (BPH), but it is terrible for men with CP/CPPS. Men with CP/CPPS instead need to relax their pelvic floor muscles.
Chronic pelvic pain syndrome is a frustrating condition that is difficult to diagnose and treat. Many CP/CPPS sufferers have no signs of infection or inflammation. It is estimated that half of the men with CP/CPPS have a pelvic floor spasm or pelvic muscle dysfunction causing their pain. Unfortunately, combining Kegel exercises and prostatitis can add to pelvic floor tension and make this condition worse, and that is why Kegel exercises and prostatitis are not a good fit for each other.
Men with a pelvic muscle spasm or dysfunction may find relief in alternative therapies that relax the PC muscle such as pelvic floor physiotherapy, trigger point therapy, and myofascial trigger point therapy. Trigger points are areas of muscle that are tight or painful. Trigger point therapy injects fluid into theses trigger points. Myofascial trigger point therapy works by having a therapist apply pressure to certain points in the muscles and pelvic floor, which stretches them and encourages the muscles to return to their normal length. Other alternative therapies may include biofeedback and managing stress to help relieve tension in the pelvic area.
Your doctor could determine the source of pain for your prostatitis during a digital rectal exam (DRE). Your doctor will insert a gloved and lubricated finger into your rectum. While in there, your physician can palpate the muscles to either side of your prostate. If they feel rock hard, or if you feel that where the doctor palpates the muscles is where your prostate pain is located you could have a pelvic floor spasm.
If you do not have prostatitis and you are looking for relief from urinary symptoms associated with enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or are looking to improve your urinary continence and sexual function, then Kegels are a great and easy and natural way to way to strengthen your PC muscles. Here is more information on how to do Kegels (along with some other exercises). If you suffer from CP/CPPS, though, it is best to avoid Kegels and other exercises that could cause tension in the pelvic area.