What is men’s health physiotherapy?

Quite simply, this is the application of physical therapy and manual therapy directed to the muscles and structures of the pelvic floor. The pelvic floor is made up of layers of muscles and connective tissue that support the internal organs of the pelvis. A man's pelvic floor muscles help control sexual health as well as support bladder and bowel function.

What will my first session of men’s health physiotherapy look like?

The session will begin like any other session of physiotherapy- with a conversation. During this discussion, time will be spent gathering information on the history of the condition as well as any relevant medical history and symptoms. It is important for us to hear from you. We want to understand what you are experiencing, how long it's been happening, and how this is affecting your life.

Our assessment and treatment will entail a whole-body approach, with a focus on the pelvic floor specific symptoms. Our goal is to understand how the pelvic floor fits into the context of the entire body.

We will then assess the integrity of the pelvic floor structures themselves. The initial portion of the pelvic floor exam is done externally using palpation and observation of the structures as you are asked to contract and relax. This gives us information about the function, timing, and ability to perform the jobs the muscles are intended to perform. Some of the muscles of the pelvic floor are only accessible via an internal exam. If your specialist feels an internal exam is warranted, they will first ask if you consent to that level of examination and proceed only if you approve. This exam is done using a lubricated gloved single finger inserted into the rectum to assess these internal structures. We always go at your pace and explain what we are doing before it is being done.  

The treatment for pelvic floor varies from person to person, just like all musculoskeletal conditions. A specific treatment plan will be tailored towards your individual needs and will always be precluded by discussion and education about your condition and the therapy to follow.

Every component of the exam will be described to you in detail before being done, and all of your questions are answered in real time.  There are no surprises, and most importantly, you are always in control.  No action is done without your consent, and you always have the option to pause or stop any assessment or treatment if you wish to do so. 

What dysfunction(s) can be treated with manual therapy and exercise?

Common diagnosis and symptoms that we successfully treat include:

Sexual dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction
Non-infectious prostatitis
Urinary urgency
Urinary incontinence or post-urination dribbling
Penile and/or testicular pain
Post prostatectomy symtoms
Chronic pelvic pain
Fecal incontinence
Post-operative colorectal surgery rehab

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What happens if…?

Before any hands-on techniques or assessments are performed, you will hear something like the following from your specialist: "going forward during this session, should anything happen that you might normally consider embarrassing or unintended, know that those things are absolutely not embarrassing in this office.  If you get the giggles, maybe you fart, perhaps you get an erection - it is all fine."  We mean that.  Our specialists are male which gives us insight and understanding - we understand what you are feeling and have seen it all/done most of it ourselves.  No one will go running and screaming from a treatment room if a patient gets an unintended hard-on, and while we understand why many of our patients are apprehensive before coming to their first session for this reason, this shouldn't be a cause for worry.  You can always feel free to ask for a break if you need one, and your request will always be honored.  But dicks are made to get hard, that is their job.  Should you get an erection during your session, it's fine.  Really.  It rarely happens at all, and when it does, is never an issue.

Does pelvic floor therapy hurt?

Some techniques can be uncomfortable, but only implemented when the patient is ready and when appropriate.  Think "sports massage" but applied to these specific muscles.  We haven't made anyone cry yet and intend to keep that perfect track record.

How long does it take to get results?

This depends on quite a few factors, some of which include how long this condition has been happening, how complicated the history is, what other additional factors are present, and many more.  Some of our patients report positive results quite quickly, others have a longer road.  We are happy to discuss this with you individually at your session and are with you every step of the way.

Can I do anything from home to get better faster?

Absolutely!  Every session, including your first appointment, we will discuss exercises and techniques you can and should perform at home between the sessions.  It is important for every patient to have an active role in their recovery and something we expect all of our patients to engage in.

Do I need a prescription from my physician to get care?

While we don't always need a prescription from a physician, it is often helpful to have one to ensure that you are medically cleared to be seen in a PT setting.  Some pelvic floor conditions can be a sign of an underlying medical pathology so we like to coordinate with your medical team to achieve optimal results.  

I have specific questions unanswered here.  How do I contact your specialists?

Questions are good and we understand you might have more, perhaps many more.  We are here and happy to speak with you before your first session.  You can email one of our pelvic floor specialists directly at mhp@symbiopt.com or contact our front desk who can put you in touch with the right person.  Don't let an unanswered question or worry keep you from getting better.