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» Pelvic Health for Males

Comprehensive Pelvic Health

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Pelvic Health for Males

Male Pelvic Therapy in Chicago Loop, Lakeview, and Glenview

Male Pelvic Floor Disorders

Physical therapy for men’s health needs and pelvic floor disorders specializes in the unique needs of men throughout their lives. Physical therapists are specialists in musculoskeletal disorders and their specific training allows them to provide effective management for men with various problems across the lifespan. 

Pelvic Pain, Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome, Orchialgia, Scrotalgia, Testalgia, Prostatitis, Perineal Pain, Sciatica, Epididymitis, Levator Ani Syndrome, and Post-Vasectomy Pain.

A pelvic health physical therapist can treat men suffering from pelvic pain, also called pelvic floor dysfunction, or levator ani syndrome, including scrotal pain, penile pain, buttock pain, pain with ejaculation, or pain in the pelvis that radiates to the front or back of the thighs. Some men experience burning pain in or around the anus, at the base or tip of the penis, or at the perineum (the area between the anus and genitals). Symptoms may “feel like I am sitting on a golf ball” and include symptoms of urinary frequency and sexual dysfunction. A variety of musculoskeletal problems throughout the low back, hips, pelvic girdle, and even the knee and ankles can contribute to changes in the pelvic floor musculature, sometimes leading to pain. Whether this is a new symptom or a chronic condition, a physical therapist can help address these limitations and help the body work efficiently with less pain.

Erectile Dysfunction

There can be many causes for erectile dysfunction with many able to be treated through physical therapy including those resulting from pelvic pain, pelvic floor tightness, or pelvic floor weakness. Treatments focus on improving pelvic blood flow, reducing stress, abdominal and pelvic floor strengthening, pelvic floor relaxation, and behavioral education. 


Constipation is a common diagnosis that many individuals leave untreated but can be treated by a pelvic health physical therapist. Signs and symptoms of constipation can include, infrequent bowel movements, hard stool, excessive straining, bloating, flatulence, decreased appetite, and depression. A pelvic health physical therapist can treat constipation through education on proper defecation techniques, nervous system desensitization, pelvic floor muscle re-education, addressing your bowel habits, diet and hydration, and assessing for musculoskeletal tension limiting bowel evacuation. 

Urinary Incontinence

An involuntary leakage of urine.There are 4 types of urinary incontinence that can be successfully treated by physical therapists.

Stress Urinary incontinence

Leakage of urine that occurs during coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercise and lifting. Leakage occurs when the intra abdominal pressure exceeds the urethral closure pressure and can also be contributed to by tight muscles in the pelvic floor that change the angle of the muscles around the bladder. These muscles can than “push” on the bladder instead of assist with bladder closure.  A history of low back pain and pelvic pain can also add to a change in these muscles and exacerbate this condition.

Urge Urinary Incontinence

Leakage of urine can be associated with a strong, sudden urge to urinate. Those suffering with this condition will frequently leak urine when they hear the sound of running water or as they are running to the bathroom.

Mixed Urinary Incontinence

A combination of both stress and urge urinary incontinence. Those experiencing mixed incontinence may leak during coughing, sneezing, laughing, as well as have a strong urge to urinate.

Functional Urinary Incontinence

Occurs when you are functionally limited in mobility and cannot make it to the bathroom in time. For example, someone with severe arthritis moves slowly and may not be able to remove their clothing fast enough or slow mobility due to hip or knee pain may limit the ability to reach the toilet in time.

Anal Incontinence

An involuntary leakage of flatus, solid, or liquid feces. Anal incontinence can be successfully treated by physical therapists. Causes can include inflammatory bowel diseases, diarrhea, post-radiation, neurological conditions, pelvic floor weakness, pelvic floor tightness, or constipation.

Incontinence Treatment

Physical therapist care for incontinence may include a combination of therapeutic exercises to strengthen and relax the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles, as well as muscles surrounding the hips and spine. Other treatment options may include bladder or bowel training and education on bladder and bowel irritants.

Pre and Post Prostatectomy

Before prostatectomy surgery, patients can benefit from physical therapy services to address pelvic floor strength and improve prognosis following surgery. Following prostatectomy surgery, common side effects that can be treated through physical therapy include urinary incontinence, nocturia, pelvic pain, and erectile dysfunction. Treatments include behavioral education, bladder retraining, and pelvic floor strengthening. 

What to Expect During Therapy

A pelvic health physical therapist will provide a thorough subjective and objective evaluation and develop a treatment program specific to your problems and goals. Treatments may include one or more of the following: manual therapy or dry needling to reduce muscle guarding and tightness, joint mobilization or muscle energy techniques to influence the joints in the pelvis, hips, ribs or spine. Specific therapeutic exercises will be prescribed to address muscle tightness and improve strength. Meditation and breathing techniques may be utilized to relax muscles and change blood chemistry. Neuro-muscular reeducation improves the coordination between muscle contractions and relaxations so that joints and muscles are used efficiently with less pain and increased function. Depending on your particular problem, specific functional training will be geared toward your specific goals. Functional activities may include changing posture to change the neurological and motor pathways used and decrease pain. Treatment may also include education on bladder training or foods that may irritate their bladder and cause urgency and frequency.

Click here to request an onsite appointment with one of our pelvic therapy specialists, Dr. Maureen O'Connell, Dr. Rachel Philipp and Dr. Debbie Victor.

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