MENS HEALTH: Male Incontinence – an issue to be talked about
Welcome to Enhance Physiotherapy Albury-Wodonga! My name is Matt Lewington and I am Enhance Physiotherapy’s Men’s Health physio.
With Men’s Health in the spotlight throughout November with initiatives such as Movember, what better time to discuss Men’s Health!
Yes men do suffer from urinary incontinence and in many ways it is more catastrophic than it is for women. BUT… there are strategies that can be used to reduce or stop incontinence.
The male pelvic floor is different from the female pelvic floor in that it has a mechanical advantage created by the longer urethra in men which allows the pelvic floor muscles to sit in a more effective position.
So how do we find our pelvic floor muscles?
TECHNIQUE 1: CONTROLLING THE FLOW
When you go to the toilet try stopping the flow of your urine mid flow. If you can do this then you are using the right muscles. BUT… DO NOT DO THIS REPETITIVELY!! This is not an exercise, just a way to identify your pelvic floor muscles. If you have troubles performing this step you may need to see me at Enhance Physiotherapy to retrain your pelvic floor muscles.
TECHNIQUE 2: VISUALISATION
Stand in front of a mirror with your clothes off. If you are tightening the right muscles you should see the base of the penis draw inwards and the scrotum lift upwards. Coincidently the rectum will tighten as well but this is not the focus of the exercise.
GETTING THE RIGHT TECHNIQUE
Correct technique is the MOST IMPORTANT when doing pelvic floor exercises. You should feel a ‘’lift & squeeze’’ in your pelvis and you should keep breathing normally with your abdominal muscles relaxed. Once you master the correct technique it’s time to progress…
EXERCISING YOUR PELVIC FLOOR MUSCLES
Once you have mastered the correct technique you should aim to hold your contraction for 10 seconds. Once you can achieve this you should aim to complete 10 repetitions, eventually progressing to 3 times daily. Make sure you continue to breathe!! You should start the exercises while lying down and then progress to sitting, standing, walking and other functional activities as you are ready.
Some recent research by the University of Queensland found that “shorten your penis’’ was the best cue for getting correct pelvic floor contraction.
PRE-OP PELVIC FLOOR EXERCISES:
Due to the nature of prostate cancer and the urgency to have the prostate removed it is not always possible to see a physiotherapist prior to your operation. If you do however have the time it is hugely beneficial to your post op recovery. Research shows that men who can effectively contract their pelvic floor prior to surgery will regain continence more quickly than men who are unable to contract their pelvic floor preoperatively.
POST-OP BLADDER DIARY:
Keeping this diary will allow you to see how well your bladder is storing after your surgery and will also allow your physiotherapist to identify specific causes of your incontinence (caffeine, alcohol, increased intake, constipation).
Hopefully there are plenty of men out there who have found this blog helpful. If you or anyone you know is effected by incontinence and wish to discuss anything further please feel free to call me on (02) 6041 3609 or email me at email@example.com
Alternatively you can make an appointment online at our website www.enhancephysiotherapyaw.com.au
All consultations and discussions are 100% confidential. I look forward to hearing from you and working with you to enhance your quality of life!