In honor of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, we wanted to highlight how pelvic floor physical therapy can be a helpful conservative option to assist with recovery after surgery for prostate cancer during the first post-operative year.
Most commonly, surgical removal of the prostate can affect urinary continence that impacts the quality of life for many men. Other common problems that can occur after surgery include:
• Urinary leakage with coughing, sneezing or transitional movements
• Post operative pain in the abdominal or pelvic area
• Incomplete emptying of the bladder
• Increased frequency of urination
• Urgency of urination
• Straining with urination
• Pain or discomfort with sitting
• Erectile dysfunction
Pelvic floor physical therapy after prostate surgery includes a thorough orthopedic evaluation including posture, flexibility and strength. Focused evaluation of the pelvic floor is also performed including, bowel and bladder habits, urinary behaviors and assessment of the muscles of the pelvic floor.
Based on findings from the evaluation, treatment interventions can include:
• Pelvic floor strengthening (“Kegels”) Pelvic floor exercise can be performed using biofeedback which involves placement of external sensors around the pelvic floor muscles to determine whether the muscles of the pelvic floor are functioning properly.
• Behavioral therapy. Education on techniques to assist with improving urgency and frequency of urination.
• Therapeutic exercise. Instruction on exercises for the hips and core incorporating proper breathing and coordination of muscle contraction to maximize outcomes.
• Soft tissue mobilization. Manual techniques to improve scar mobility at surgical sites as well as address any other muscle tension in the pelvic and/or abdominal area.
A physical therapy evaluation pre-surgery can also be done to ensure understanding of how to perform a proper pelvic floor muscle contraction
so pelvic floor muscles can be strong going into surgery. The gold standard of pelvic floor strengthening includes coordination of breath as well as pelvic floor and core engagement that is often difficult to achieve without instruction and guidance.
Please talk to your physician if you are scheduled to have surgery or have any of the above symptoms post surgery and request a physical therapy referral for an evaluation. If you have any questions about pelvic health physical therapy, please call our office at
847-550-9784 or visit our website at www.pelvicandorthopt.com.