According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 1.3 million new prostate cancer cases are diagnosed each year. If you are one of those men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer, it is often elected to have the prostate removed. Following the removal of the prostate (prostatectomy), the pelvic floor muscles are forced into a new role. The pelvic floor muscles have many roles as they support the pelvic organs, provide continence, help men maintain an erection, and assist in balance and postural support. With the removal of the prostate, these muscles naturally switch from an “automatic transmission” to a “manual transmission” for a time. Men will typically have urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction. With the correct training, these muscles will again begin to work automatically.
At Prevea Health, our physical therapists can help. They have specialized training in men’s pelvic health anatomy and function. Strengthening the pelvic floor prior to prostate surgery, along with education, can improve surgical outcomes with a faster recovery and a better post-surgical quality of life. In addition, therapy treatment – even years after prostatectomy – can be effective in reducing leakage, urgency or increased frequency of urination.
Our physical therapists will assess the tone, strength and function of the patient’s pelvic floor muscles during their therapy visits and will also assess how they engage their core when they lift, push or pull during daily activities. Performing these functions incorrectly can result in compressing the bladder, like squeezing a toothpaste tube in the middle, and urine then leaks out. However, when these functions are performed correctly, the pelvic floor muscles engage as part of the core and lift the bladder, resulting in improved continence and less bladder leakage. If you are noticing you are leaking on the way to the bathroom, going to the bathroom more often than every two hours, or getting up more than one to two times a night, the therapy team at Prevea may be able to help you. Improving the strength and endurance of the pelvic floor muscles for incontinence also helps with erectile function.
In 2020, groundbreaking studies show clinically significant better quality of life scores two weeks after surgery for men who participated with pre-surgical pelvic floor muscle exercises, and six times more men were engaging in sexual activity 12 weeks after surgery. (Milos et al)
For more information on the services Prevea offers, visit Prevea Therapy for Men’s Health
or call (888) 277-3832
to schedule an appointment with a Prevea physical therapist.