Pelvic floor muscle dysfunction (PFMD) can severely limit your function in life. Pain with sitting, standing, walking, running, lifting, carrying, pushing and pulling can be caused by PFMD. So can erectile dysfunction and other intimacy issues. Computer work, riding a bike or a motorcycle, golfing, being intimate with a partner or even traveling become something to dread or avoid altogether. Still leaking urine long after prostate surgery?
A pelvic floor OT will look at how your selfcare habits are affecting your quality of life. Habits such as posture, body mechanics, stress, fluid and fiber intake are all things that you can change. Simple habit changes do benefit your muscle and organ health.
When we are developing as infants, there is virtually no difference in the pelvic floor muscles of men and women. The only real difference is that one of the muscles is split around the vaginal opening in women, vs wrapping around the base of the penis in men.
The pelvic floor plays a vital role in the stability of how our pelvis attaches to our lower back and our legs, supporting our pelvic organs (prostate), maintaining continence (by shutting off urine stream and relaxing to allow for urination), sexual function (blood flow to erectile tissues), and lymphatic health. Dysfunction in these tissues can cause a myriad of symptoms and the cause multifactorial. The muscles can be affected by your hip, SI joint, spine, nerves and organs, including the elusive sciatic nerve. For men specifically, pelvic floor muscle fitness has been shown to affect the following issues:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Stress urinary incontinence
- Overactive bladder
- Post-void dribbling
- Tailbone and/or Pelvic pain due to muscle spasm
- Male pelvic organ pain
- Bowel urgency and incontinence
- Perineal tissue or nerve damage from “saddle sports” such as bike riding, etc.
- Post-prostate surgical symptoms (such as urinary leakage or lack of urge)
- Prostate health
- Male Pelvic Fitness, by Andrew L Siegel, M.D.
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