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Prostatitis: What Is It and Is Pelvic PT Right for You?

The prostate gland is specific to male anatomy and resides at the base of the bladder,
behind the pubic bone and in front of the rectum. The main job of this walnut-size gland is to produce prostatic fluid that contributes to semen, while also contracting to help propel semen. Another role of the prostate is that it acts as a valve to keep urine and sperm flowing in the right direction.

Prostatitis, by definition, is inflammation of the prostate. This can be felt as a vague fullness or discomfort around the bladder or behind the pubic bone. An inflamed prostate can also send painful signals to your low back due to nerves coming from the lower thoracic and upper lumbar spine that innervate this area. Inflammation of the prostate can cause pain with urination, urinary urgency, frequency of urination, and pelvic pain.

The main mode of treatment is first to reduce inflammation or any potential infection that could be present and contributing to symptoms. Most doctors will prescribe an antibiotic to calm your symptoms down immediately. This usually does the trick, however if your pelvic floor muscles have been irritated enough, they can have more difficulty fully relaxing and your symptoms could persist.

 

It is important to note that you can have symptoms of prostatitis or pain near or around the prostate without having an actual infection present. If your doctor rules out an infection you may have something called nonbacterial prostatitis, chronic prostatitis, or chronic pelvic pain syndrome. These patients typically respond well to physical therapy as it is often the muscles around the prostate (aka the pelvic floor, lower abdominals, and hip musculature) that are creating the patient’s symptoms.

Pelvic physical therapy can absolutely help with this problem. Whether you have begun getting into a bad habit of performing “just in case” voiding; you have discomfort and/or pain with or after urination; you have difficulty emptying your bladder; you feel like you can’t sit for long periods of time; or you feel general pain in the groin, front of the hip, abdomen, testicles, or penis, we can help!

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