During Men’s Health Awareness Month, we encourage men to take steps toward living a healthier life by staying active, maintaining a good diet, and taking early action when experiencing health issues. We sat down with men’s health expert, physical therapist, and Chicago clinic manager Nate Mancillas to discuss important men’s health topics and how physical therapy can help overall wellness.
A: When I was a student, I recall being in clinics, and so many patients who were referred for conditions like low back pain, leg pain, leg weakness, etc. would ask about issues related to men’s health, including incontinence, sexual dysfunction, pelvic pain, and other issues. I felt like this was an especially underserved area of expertise and wanted to try and make a difference. I sought out experiences with pelvic health experts as a student and have been trying to refine my knowledge as I practice through continuing education and research.
A: My expertise in men’s health lies primarily in pelvic floor issues. I often try to explain the particulars of how physical therapy can help get a patient where they want to be. Sometimes this involves telling people how our bodies change as we age, how we heal as we get older, and how our bodies react to changes such as surgery, illness, or just significant differences in activity level. I often discuss how issues caused by these changes can be helped through physical therapy.
A: While it may not be the most easily correctable, men’s incontinence issues can be treated effectively through physical therapy. Often, therapy is not seen as an option for these types of problems, and once people have exhausted other options, they feel like they are at a dead end. I have had a lot of success with treating incontinence issues, but I wish more people knew that this treatment is an option.
A: Ideally, men should always be paying attention to their health. Regular exercise, eating well, and getting proper rest can have HUGE impacts on a person’s health. We should be tending to certain things, including yearly check-ups, with prostate exams recommended yearly starting at age 55. It is also important to take family history into account and screen for genetic conditions as advised by your physician.
A: Physical therapy is much more than just a way to relieve back pain or get better after surgery. Issues such as incontinence or pelvic pain can be treated without surgery and often corrected through physical therapy. For many, therapy can serve as a bridge to a return to physical activity. There is a tendency among men and people to ignore problems until they are no longer manageable on their own. Often, if there is a minor issue with pain, weakness, etc., physical therapy can help to address this before it becomes a more significant issue.
A: The first and most crucial step is taking action to do something. Talking to a professional such as a physician or physical therapist about your issues can help get things started on the right path. I always tell patients coming on the first day that they are already past the most difficult part. The most challenging part for most is wanting to change, but once you’ve decided to make that change, we can help put together a plan to get someone on the journey to better health.
Athletico is proud to support men’s health through a variety of rehabilitation services. If you’re searching for help, these conditions can all be treated by physical therapists who have specialized in the treatment of the pelvic floor. If you feel that you may have a pelvic floor disorder or limitations preventing you from exercising or completing everyday tasks, start here by scheduling a Free Assessment at Athletico. Free Assessments are available in-clinic and virtually through our telehealth platform.
The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.