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The Role of Physical Therapy in Men’s Health

The Role of Physical Therapy in Men’s Health

by George Zakharia, DPTLeave a Comment

During the month of November, we encourage all men to take steps toward living a healthier life by staying active, maintaining a good diet and taking early action when experiencing health issues. Athletico is proud to support men’s health through a variety of rehabilitation services. Read below to learn how physical therapy can help improve common disorders and overall health.

Improved Pelvic Health

Physical therapy has been widely known to aid in recovery after surgery or injury to major joints such as the neck, shoulders, low back, hips, knees and ankles, but not much attention has gone to the less common ailments that may affect some men. One example is pelvic floor disorders in men. Some examples of pelvic floor disorders include:1

  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Pain in the groin, genitals, rectum, or low back
  • Urinary incontinence such as trouble holding in your urine, leaking after a cough, or dribbling
  • Fecal incontinence such as trouble holding in stool, discharging after a cough

Such problems have been studied and treated by physical therapists who have specialized in the treatment of pelvic floor dysfunction. Physical therapists have shown great efficacy in treating men with erectile dysfunction. One 6 month long study showed that 75% of participants improved their erectile dysfunction with pelvic floor training, with 40% of those participants attaining normal function!2

Pelvic floor physical therapists have also shown success in the treatment of women with similar problems. Participants in one study indicated success ratings of 70-80% within 4-7 sessions for treatment of urinary symptoms, pelvic pain, and bowel symptoms, respectively.3

Improved Health Habits

Not only can physical therapy help with pelvic disorders, but physical therapy can help men return to exercising consistently. Why is this relevant? Exercise has been shown to boost testosterone.4, 5, 6, 7, 8 Testosterone is particularly important for male health as it could help prevent the following negative effects of low testosterone:9

  • Decreased sex drive
  • Decreased energy
  • Weight gain
  • Feelings of depression
  • Thinner bones

Wondering what exercises you can do to improve your testosterone levels? Research has shown that resistance training and high-intensity interval training had the greatest effect on increasing testosterone levels.10, 11 Physical therapy can be a perfect jump start to begin your exercise journey, especially if you have pain or limitations preventing you from exercising.

Our men’s health physical therapists have received specialized training in the treatment of health issues related to men. If you feel that you may have a pelvic floor disorder or limitations preventing you from exercising, physical therapy is a great place to start. Schedule a free assessment to get started today. Free assessments are available in-clinic and virtually through our telehealth platform.

Request a Free Assessment

Physical therapy is usually the thing you are told to do after medication, x-rays or surgery. The best way to fix your pain is to start where you normally finish – with physical therapy at Athletico. Schedule a free assessment in-clinic or virtually through a secure online video chat where our team can assess your pain and provide recommended treatment options.

References:
1. Therapeutic Associates Physical Therapy. 2020. Men’s Health – Therapeutic Associates Physical Therapy. [online] Available at: <https://www.therapeuticassociates.com/programs/mens-health/>
2. Dorey, G., 2003. Pelvic floor muscle exercises and manometric biofeedback for erectile dysfunction and postmicturition dribble: three case studies. Journal of WOCN, 30(1), pp.44-52.
3. Schmitt JJ, Singh R, Weaver AL, et al. Prospective Outcomes of a Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation Program Including Vaginal Electrogalvanic Stimulation for Urinary, Defecatory, and Pelvic Pain Symptoms. Female Pelvic Med Reconstr Surg. 2017;23(2):108-113. doi:10.1097/SPV.0000000000000371
4. Weiss, L.W., Cureton, K.J. & Thompson, F.N. Comparison of serum testosterone and androstenedione responses to weight lifting in men and women. Europ. J. Appl. Physiol. 50, 413–419 (1983). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00423247
5. Ari Z, Kutlu N, Uyanik BS, Taneli F, Buyukyazi G, Tavli T. Serum testosterone, growth hormone, and insulin-like growth factor-1 levels, mental reaction time, and maximal aerobic exercise in sedentary and long-term physically trained elderly males. Int J Neurosci. 2004 May;114(5):623-37. doi: 10.1080/00207450490430499. PMID: 15204068.
6. Hawkins VN, Foster-Schubert K, Chubak J, et al. Effect of exercise on serum sex hormones in men: a 12-month randomized clinical trial. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2008;40(2):223-233. doi:10.1249/mss.0b013e31815bbba9
7. Vaamonde D, Da Silva-Grigoletto ME, García-Manso JM, Barrera N, Vaamonde-Lemos R. Physically active men show better semen parameters and hormone values than sedentary men. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2012 Sep;112(9):3267-73. doi: 10.1007/s00421-011-2304-6. Epub 2012 Jan 11. PMID: 22234399.
8. Kumagai H, Zempo-Miyaki A, Yoshikawa T, Tsujimoto T, Tanaka K, Maeda S. Increased physical activity has a greater effect than reduced energy intake on lifestyle modification-induced increases in testosterone. J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2016;58(1):84-89. doi:10.3164/jcbn.15-48
9. Roland, J. and Biggers MD, MPH, A., 2019. What Is Testosterone, And How Does It Affect Your Health?. [online] Healthline. Available at: <https://www.healthline.com/health/what-is-testosterone>
10. Craig BW, Brown R, Everhart J. Effects of progressive resistance training on growth hormone and testosterone levels in young and elderly subjects. Mech Ageing Dev. 1989 Aug;49(2):159-69. doi: 10.1016/0047-6374(89)90099-7. PMID: 2796409.
11. Di Blasio A, Izzicupo P, Tacconi L, et al. Acute and delayed effects of high intensity interval resistance training organization on cortisol and testosterone production. The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness. 2016 Mar;56(3):192-199.

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Men's HealthPhysical Therapyerectile dysfunctiongroin painurinary incontinence

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