I’ve had pelvic pain since I was about 16. It would kind of come and go, but when it came, the pain was brief but incredibly intense. The pain area was focused on the perineum (gooch or taint for those who don’t know).
This has been recurrent my whole life essentially. But in February of this year- right at the end of the month, it escalated dramatically.
At the end of a workout specifically (deep squats), I noticed my penis had gone numb and was retracted. Then pain and swelling in the perineum and external anus that would not go away. Frequent and weak urination, post void dribbling, trouble getting and maintaining erections, lack of morning erections, pain and burning in penis, and just general bogging feeling in my pelvis.
This is just a brief summary of my symptoms prior to working with Laura McKaig, my men's health physical therapist.
After intense internet research and finding forums mainly on reddit, numerous doctor visits due to me thinking this was prostate cancer, and talking to many people, I found Laura’s practice through a quick google search after being recommended to give pelvic pain physical therapy a try.
I booked an appointment the minute I talked to her as her knowledge seemed to line up directly not just with my symptoms, but also with all the research I had done- she seemed to also know exactly what she was talking about.
Going into my first appointment, I was skeptical. But I was also in a panic. As a man, having your most valued body parts being tampered with at such a young age can make you crazy. I was bringing down the mood of everyone I was around because of this.
But after some time, I decided to go all in on physical therapy and take it seriously. This was the most important part for me. Once I actually started doing the homework and taking Laura’s advice seriously, I saw HUGE improvement. The stretches, breathing exercises, lifestyle changing advice, etc. not only has it brought my symptoms to the point I was before the symptoms and back to normal, I would say my physical and mental health is actually even BETTER than it was before the issues started. It is truly life changing and I’m beyond grateful for my overall experience. Not something I thought I’d ever say about this situation.
Laura also has vast resources that can help someone if needed. (Yoga instructors, weightlifting coaches, various therapists). This is important because often times chronic pelvic pain is multifactorial.
Laura even went as far as to doing a telehealth appointment during a urology visit to add in her findings. If this isn’t true care for a patient, then I’m not sure what is.
As I mentioned before, my overall physical and mental health is much better than it was even before the issues started!
Laura and I over time have discussed lifestyle habits and changes that could fix these issues in the long term, which is hugely important.
I’m an extremely heavy lifter by hobby, and wasn’t breathing correctly (sometimes not even lifting in a healthy way). Her knowledge helped me get back to doing what I love which is staying in shape. I had to take it slow at first, but now I’m back to working out every day. Beyond thankful.
We talked about my sexual habits, and how excessive sexual activity can affect your pelvic floor, and ways you can improve your sex life (be it breathing properly, being in tune with how your body is reacting, and even yoga).
My sexual health is SUBSTANTIALLY better than it was before! My fiancé can’t even keep up. It hasn’t been this good in years.
The takeaway from this all for a newcomer should be LISTEN TO YOUR PT. Listen listen listen.
If you really want to get better, you need to focus on the tasks you are given.
You also need to relax and most importantly- BREATHE!
Breathing correctly in ANY given scenario will improve just about everything. Sounds like hocus pocus but it’s true.
My personal advice beyond that is treat your body and mind with respect. Watching too much porn or masturbating too much/too vigorously? Cut it out. Find a way to get rid of it and stop it altogether.
Sex addiction was one of the many reasons I ran into these issues. Without Laura I may not have even realized I had an issue.
Breathing wrong and not stretching?
Work with your PT on a solution and TAKE IT SERIOUSLY. I cannot stress that enough.
I’ve made a quick recovery, but perhaps I would’ve corrected it sooner if I had just taken it seriously to begin with and relaxed.
You will be hard pressed to find a bigger advocate for men’s health than Laura.
It’s truly a blessing, and I’m eternally grateful.
--Garrett D., age 25
Letter from John F., Veteran and Prostate Cancer Survivor:
I was going through 2 months of radiation therapy and hormone therapy for prostate cancer. During this time period I suffered with bladder spasm and rectal spasm and had to have a full catheter for 3 months because I could not urinate on my own.
Upon completion of my radiation treatments and removal of my full catheter, I had problems with weak urine flow as well as urinary frequency and incontinence. This was highly distressing for me.
I was introduced to pelvic rehabilitation by Laura McKaig, a physical therapist at the center where I was staying for my rehab. I received the okay to participate in this specialty therapy from my urologist at the VA hospital.
Doing these pelvic rehabilitation exercises on a daily basis after completion of my prostate cancer treatments has helped to strengthen my pelvic floor muscles and my urine flow.
Pelvic floor therapy has been a most effective way of controlling my incontinence without medication or surgery. Doing the exercises has helped me with my urine leakage.
This specialty in pelvic floor physical therapy for men has been a great help to me, and I continue to do these exercises on my own now. I’m sure this specialty therapy would be beneficial to other men who need this.