Men's Health Focus: Chronic Pelvic Pain
Published - Jun 15, 2021
By Dr. Rebekah Ley, physical therapist and clinic director at South Sound Physical & Hand Therapy - Tacoma.
Chronic pelvic pain is a common affliction affecting men of all ages, according to Physical Therapist Dr. Rebekah Ley of South Sound Physical & Hand Therapy – Tacoma. Other symptoms, such as discomfort while urinating and sexual dysfunction, often occur alongside this pain.
Despite the prevalence of chronic pelvic pain, men have little knowledge regarding the condition itself, including its treatment options. Dr. Ley notes that screening for chronic pelvic pain is often overlooked in the healthcare industry, specifically on healthcare questionnaires, making it difficult for physicians and patients alike to identify when a problem has manifested. In turn, this lapse in screening results in a lack of guidance for men toward receiving the care that they need.
“My goal is to embark with my patients as a partner on a care journey that can be sensitive for many. I strive to provide treatment options that are unique to each patient as well as a tangible route to meet an individual’s care goals,” say Ley. “I hope to encourage men to advocate for their care and to have a necessary, though sensitive, discussion with their primary health care provider. There is hope for the future.”
Pelvic floor physical therapy was developed in the 1970s, with the physical investigation of the pelvic floor muscles falling under its scope. The exam is primarily utilized to identify and objectify the general dynamic of an individual’s pelvic floor muscles, including the presence and the degree of severity of muscle spasms that may be occurring (a common cause of chronic pelvic pain).
In the context of physical therapy to treat chronic pelvic pain, treatment is aimed at resolving muscle spasms and identifying any underlying causations that brought about the spasms to begin with. Over the course of therapy, pain tends to resolve as pelvic floor muscles return to their normal tone. With active participation in treatment, patients have the ability to move forward with a pain-free life, and to gain the knowledge and the tools to utilize should they experience a setback.
At IRG Physical & Hand Therapy, therapists specializing in men’s health can help patients relieve problems related to the pelvis and the pelvic floor. Start the journey back to your best self by requesting a free injury screen or by calling 425.316.8046 to find the clinic nearest you.