Male athletic Pelvic Pain: A patient's story
Male athletic pelvic pain: Time to get it sorted
Male athletic pelvic Pain: It was time to get it sorted!
I didn’t know the male pelvic floor could affect everyday life so much. The first time I developed some sort of symptoms was about 10 years ago. I was doing too much cycling, well too much for a non-cyclist, and I think my bike seat was not properly fitted. I had pain while urinating and in ejaculation. Scary and like all emotionally driven patients, I looked it up on the internet and prostatitis came up. I didn’t do anything about it, it was summer, I went for a holiday, and it settled. Since then, no problem.
I am now 48 years old. Two years ago, I had to do a lot of sitting for a good 3 months. I was doing up to 60 hours per week. The way I was sitting together with the fact that it was excessive, gave me pain in the testicles and the area around. The pain developed very gradually and to be honest I did not notice it until the point it was so bad that it started affecting my sleep and I had to take painkillers to get to sleep. I went to the GP and the first thing they thought was “prostate”. We checked and there was no inflammation. I looked into physical therapy online, and I found a couple of exercises to try. I tried and I felt a little better, but I did not know what I was doing as I did not understand what the problem was.
Summer holiday, again, I went on a holiday, and it settled, slowly but steadily. I am always keeping myself fit, with regular training and sport. So now the writing project was done I went back to basketball, and I sort of forgot about the problem thinking that it was not a problem anymore. In January 2020 I had a severe sport injury that resulted to two operations, which of course made me sit a lot again. This time, however, I was sitting on a sofa, and I was slouching a lot as I needed to keep my leg high. I stopped thinking about the pelvic problem, possibly my body could not cope with two sources of pain, and I thought it was completely gone.
September 2020, I was getting back to my everyday habits and the pelvic floor pain started creeping in. I stopped sitting at the office and I was hoping it would settle, but instead it was getting worse and worse. It started affecting sleep again, but it also started affecting function. Small issues in urination (dribbling), inability to climax in sex and at times erectile dysfunction. Life was affected a lot and the thought process that follows these symptoms can take you to a negative spiral. I contacted physios who I knew but none of them could give me accurate advice as they did not have enough experience on the topic. However, one did suggest looking for pelvic floor specialist physio. I found one but it was very far so when I called him, he suggested Gerald as he was very near to me.
Without hesitation I booked an appointment. The first meeting was about identifying the magnitude of the problem and explaining the potential reasons it may have happened. Gerald was brilliant at educating me on the topic and guiding me how to find more information about it. The ultrasound was also very helpful as it gave a visual representation of the issue. I started feeling better within a few days of starting the breathing exercises. It seems that what I had done on my own with the stuff I had found on the internet was too much. Lesson learnt “don’t self-diagnose” especially with such a sensitive area of the body. After the second session the improvements were faster, bigger, and long lasting. I have had 3 sessions in total spread within 2-2.5 months and I am loving life again. The therapy has made more mindful, I realised I am overusing the pelvic floor muscles without realising it whilst I am standing but I now know what to do to relax. I am thankful for meeting Gerald and thankful for the education. Bottom line, if you feel any of the above symptoms, don’t self-diagnose and be open-minded with the type of therapy you may need.