Rick Young, PT, MPT, CODN, CMTPT/MT, AIB/VRC, co-owner of Aberdeen Physical Therapy and Wellness, wants to make men aware that there is help for incontinence, pelvic pain, and erectile dysfunction with physical therapy.
Young earned his master’s degree in physical therapy in 1992 from Temple University in Philadelphia and his male pelvic health training from Herman and Wallace and the American Physical Therapy Association.
Generally speaking, men’s pelvic health issues are not as well addressed as women’s pelvic health. Men typically do not search out treatment for health problems, either because they may be self-conscious or embarrassed, or they don’t know that solutions exist for their problems.
Male pelvic problems can arise from many different sources, including treatment for prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer in men (behind skin cancer), and one in eight men will be diagnosed in their lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society.
One of the treatment options for prostate cancer is the removal of the prostate gland. During this procedure, nerves and muscles may become damaged, affecting the pelvic floor muscles. This can result in urine leakage (incontinence). Sometimes urine can leak during activities such as coughing, sneezing, and standing from sitting. Other times, it may leak for no reason. Young said a lot of these same things can happen with aging.
“Nerves can regrow, but they do so very slowly,” Young said. “Weak pelvic floor muscles can also lead to erectile dysfunction, as those muscles are responsible for keeping the blood in the penis to maintain an erection.
“Part of the treatment we do in physical therapy is strengthen muscles. If you have neck or shoulder pain or dysfunction, strengthening important muscles is part of the treatment. It’s the same in the pelvis. Actually, most problems in the pelvis can be traced back to muscle dysfunction. With leakage or erectile dysfunction, you’re dealing with weak muscles, with pelvic pain, you’re typically dealing with tight muscles or muscle fibers that contain trigger points.”
Young explains pelvic floor strength exercises for men on April 20, 2022, at his office. Video by Sandhills Sentinel Journalist Stephanie M. Sellers.
There are several tools that are used to assist patients in attaining their goals. Electric stimulation for strengthening and ultrasound to help identify muscle activity are two of those tools, in addition to exercise.
Contact Aberdeen Physical Therapy and Wellness for an appointment at 910-944-1169. The office is located at 200 North Poplar Street in Aberdeen.
Feature photo: Rick Young, owner of Aberdeen Physical Therapy and Wellness, stands outside of his office on North Poplar Street. Photo by Sandhills Sentinel Journalist Stephanie M. Sellers.