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Often, both pain and urinary symptoms of chronic prostatitis stem from dysfunction and trigger points within the pelvic floor. When these muscles are tight and strained, they begin to irritate the nerves that run through the pelvis. Pain can radiate anywhere that those nerves run, and the brain can also interpret that irritation as the urgent need to urinate.
By resolving the trigger points in these muscles, pelvic floor physical therapy works to address the underlying cause of pelvic pain and urinary symptoms. This typically involves both external and internal trigger point release techniques, clearing inflammation from the fascia, and a customized at-home program.
Researchers from Stanford, the Cleveland Clinic, University of Michigan, UPenn, and several other sites published results from a controlled, randomized clinical trial on the benefits of pelvic floor physical therapy for men with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome. The men who enrolled were given 10 weekly, one-hour PT sessions.
The results were striking. In just ten visits, 64% of men reported that their symptoms either moderately or markedly improved, and more than 80% reported at least some benefit.
Pain levels and urinary symptoms were both reduced by more than 40%, and significant improvements in both quality of life and sexual health were also reported.
If you’re looking for a physical therapy clinic, make sure they understand and specialize in male pelvic pain. You can ask a clinic what percentage of its patients are men, how much time they spend with manual physical therapy, and whether they address both internal and external factors in treating chronic prostatitis.
FitzGerald, Mary P et al. Randomized multicenter feasibility trial of myofascial physical therapy for the treatment of urological chronic pelvic pain syndromes. The Journal of Urology 189(1): S75 – S85
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