What is Chronic Prostatitis?
Chronic prostatitis is defined as pelvic pain and urinary urgency/frequency lasting longer than six weeks, without an infection or other identifiable cause. It's also a diagnosis similar (and perhaps identical) to interstitial cystitis.
For more information on interstitial cystitis and chronic prostatitis, there's an entire chapter in The Interstitial Cystitis Solution.
The hallmarks of chronic prostatitis are pelvic pain (manifesting in the perineum, testicles, lower stomach, penis, or anus) and urinary urgency/frequency.
Other common symptoms include:
Pain following ejaculation or with erection
Having to urinate at night
Low back pain
For practical, positive information and a supportive community, we established the Finding Pelvic Sanity online Facebook group - feel free to join!
Chronic prostatitis is diagnosed based on the symptoms when no other cause is found. The vast majority of men diagnosed with chronic prostatitis have no evidence of infection and are classified as 'non-bacterial prostatitis."
Physical Therapy for Chronic Prostatitis
The muscles of the pelvic floor are the most common culprit in chronic prostatitis symptoms. The prostate itself is generally an 'innocent bystander', though many men are told a slightly enlarged prostate may be causing their symptoms or have prostate-centered treatments for years without relief.
Tight muscles and trigger points in the pelvic floor irritate the nerves that run through the region, which can cause pain anywhere those nerves run. Physical therapy restores normal function to the muscles and removes pressure on the nerves to relieve symptoms.
Pelvic PT can also treat the associated symptoms, incuding erectile dysfunction, pain with erection or ejaculation, low back pain, and GI issues.
The most proven treatment for chronic prostatitis, pelvic floor physical therapy has been shown to lower pelvic pain, reduce urinary urgency/frequency and improve sexual function in men diagnosed with chronic prostatitis.
Your pelvic PT should be addressing both internal and external factors to find the underlying 'why' of your symptoms.
At PelvicSanity, we support patients beyond the walls of our own clinic in Southern California. We offer an Out-of-Town program, remote consultations, and a Facebook support group for patients called Finding Pelvic Sanity.
Dr. Nicole Cozean is the founder of PelvicSanity Physical Therapy in Orange County, CA. PelvicSanity treats patients from all over the world with remote consultations and the Immersive Out of Town Program. She also runs Pelvic PT Rising, training other pelvic PTs to better serve patients.
Named Physical Therapist of the Year, Dr. Nicole is author of the award-winning book The Interstitial Cystitis Solution and the first PT to serve on the ICA Board of Directors, Her passion is helping those with pelvic health issues - regardless of where they live - find lasting relief.