Stress is one of the major contributors to prostatitis. It may seem completely unrelated, but stress, anxiety, and emotional health factor into causing inflammation and pelvic tension. That is why stress management for treating prostatitis can be a very important therapy when it comes to chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS).
About half of the men with CP/CPPS have tension in the pelvic floor as the source of their pain. Anxiety or other psychological stressors can trigger this pelvic floor tension. Having CP/CPPS can also cause stress for many men because dealing with a long-term chronic pain condition makes them vulnerable to stress and anxiety. That is why stress management for treating prostatitis and related alternative treatments are key to finding relief.
According to Johns Hopkins, several studies have discovered that men with a history of psychological conditions, especially anxiety disorders and panic disorder, commonly also have prostatitis.
Researchers in Taiwan compared the health records for men who had CP/CPPS with the records for randomly chosen men. The men who had struggled with CP/CPPS were twice as likely to have a previous diagnosis of an anxiety disorder. The results of this study show that men with CP/CPPS have higher rates of anxiety than men who do not have CP/CPPS. A man who has anxiety may be at greater risk for pelvic pain and chronic prostatitis, which is why managing the anxiety is an important part of treatment.
Because dealing with a painful, long-term chronic condition that is difficult to treat like CP/CPPS can cause stress and anxiety, adopting ways to relieve stress is an important part of any CP/CPPS treatment program. Dealing with ongoing pain, sexual problems, and incontinence can be devastating to a man’s life. These problems can cause feelings of embarrassment, hopelessness, and can also lead to relationship problems. Having a negative outlook can worsen symptoms and lead to depression. If men do not address the mental components of their pain, it will continue to wreak havoc on their health and not get resolved.
How Does Stress Management for Treating Prostatitis Work?
You might wonder how is stress is related to pelvic tension. You know how some men carry their stress in their neck and shoulders, which can lead to tension and headaches. Other men subconsciously carry their stress in their pelvic muscles by tightening them, leading to chronic tension and feeling as if they have a “headache in the pelvis.” When you add the stress of dealing with pain from prostatitis, it can actually make the pain even worse, causing a vicious cycle of pain and frustration and possibly leading to depression.
Finding ways to lower stress levels in the body can help men manage their prostatitis and can have a positive effect on their health. There are a number of therapies that help reduce stress and pelvic tension. Doing cognitive behavioral therapy and stress management techniques, such as meditation, can help train men to relax pelvic muscles. These therapies can also be combined with other methods to release pelvic tension. Some of the treatment programs for chronic pelvic muscle tension and dysfunction also incorporate a mental health and relaxation component because psychological health and pelvic tension are so connected. Doing stress management and relaxation exercises are part of the “NPAT” Treatment Program for Prostatitis, the Renew XY Health Program for Men, and Wise-Anderson Protocol. All these treatment include strategies for addressing with the psychological aspects of prostatitis. We will look at them in more detail.
The NPAT Treatment Program is a holistic program for CP/CPPS that addresses whole-body health, including stress management. Naturopathic urologist, Dr. Geo Espinosa, developed this “total body” treatment protocol to specifically focus on pelvic tension because many causes of chronic prostatitis originate from problems elsewhere in the body that take place outside of the prostate. About 50% of CP/CPPS cases are caused by tension in the pelvic floor muscles, which can stem from stress and emotional health problems.
NPAT stands for:
- Natural treatments (ALCAT, elimination diets, and wheat-free diets)
- Phytotherapy (pollen and quercetin together with probiotics)
- Alternative Treatments (acupuncture, prostate massage, pelvic rehabilitation and therapy)
- Total body (exercise, chronic stress management, lifestyle)
The Wise-Anderson Protocol treats psychological and behavioral issues, including stress and anxiety, that could contribute to prostatitis symptoms. The doctors and therapists combine the psychological health components with trigger point release and physical therapy.
The Renew XY Health Program for Men treats the mind-body connection. The program’s founder, Isa Herrera, is a physiotherapist and men’s pelvic health expert who helps her patients learn to manage stress and catastrophic thinking. Some of the program’s stress-reduction exercises include:
- relaxation breathing,
- cardiovascular exercise,
- positive thinking,
- journaling, and
- joining a self-help group or seeking support from others.
How to Find Stress Management Training
Talk to your doctor about ways you can benefit from stress management for prostatitis. There are several relaxing techniques that men find helpful in reducing stress and anxiety, including:
- tai chi,
- biofeedback, and
- talking to a therapist.
Looking into any of the treatment programs that dealing with both the physical and psychological components of CP/CPPS is a good start on the road to recovery. Keep in mind that all of these treatments can take time. Keeping a positive attitude and an open mind to a variety of therapies will be much more beneficial to your healing than having a negative or pessimistic attitude.