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Prostates and PT and Men, Oh My!

It’s already the end of June and I want to celebrate.  Summer weather is finally here, the Royals are in first place, and it’s Men’s Health Month.  On Father’s Day, many of the ballparks handed out blue t-shirts, the players wore blue arm bands, and blue bats in support of prostate cancer awareness.  What a great way to support our men!  One of the side effects of a prostatectomy is urinary incontinence.  Recovery from urinary leaking without treatment can take 2 years.  So what happens if you don’t want to wait 2 years to not wear pads, or leak with every day activities?

There is a strong body of research that shows that pelvic floor physical therapy can make a huge difference in decreasing urinary leaking in a much timelier manner. In this study, 88% of men who participated in pelvic floor physical therapy did not have leaking 3 months after starting.  Compare this to the 44% who were still leaking in the group that did not receive treatment.  That’s a huge difference!  And in only 3 months compared to 2 years of just waiting.

Most physicians are telling their patients to do Kegels after surgery, which is fantastic and a great step in the road to recovery.  However, if you are still having leaking after a couple of weeks of Kegels, an evaluation with a pelvic floor therapist is in order.  When doing Kegels, you are strengthening one set of muscles—the group that forms the bottom of the pelvic floor bowl.  There are many more muscles that go into decreasing urinary leaking and supporting your bladder, though.  A good exercise program with deep core and hip strengthening is also vital to help the whole pelvic floor team work efficiently together.  One group of muscles cannot support the whole team.  It would be like the catcher on the baseball team trying to pitch, catch and field all by himself.  No player is that good!

So, if you are experiencing urinary leaking after prostate surgery, please, please, support your pelvic floor team!  Pelvic floor therapists can coach you to success and help to improve your leaking symptoms, in a lot less than 2 years!  Happy summer!  Happy Men’s Health Month! And Go Royals!

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