Pelvic Pain Awareness Month PART 2:


Conditions that only affect men

Chronic pelvic pain syndrome affects 10–15 % of the male population.


  1. Prostatitis

Prostatitis is inflammation and swelling of the prostate, a small gland in the male reproductive system. The prostate produces a fluid that goes into semen.

There are a few types of prostatitis:

Acute bacterial prostatitis arises from a bacterial infection in the prostate and can cause pain in the pelvis, groin, or lower back and can also lead to discomfort in the penis or testicles.

Chronic bacterial prostatitis is a recurring infection of the prostate. The symptoms may be less severe.

Nonbacterial prostatitis is inflammation in the prostate that lasts a long time and may result from nonbacterial prostatitis, a type of chronic pelvic pain syndrome.

Asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis can cause virtually no symptoms.


  1. Chronic pelvic pain syndrome

Men who have long-term pelvic pain (>3 months) with no infection or other obvious cause are diagnosed with chronic pelvic pain syndrome. 3 to 6 % of men have chronic pelvic pain syndrome, and have pain in the penis, testicles, area between the testicles and rectum (perineum), and lower belly.


  1. Urethral stricture

The urethra is the tube that urine passes through from the bladder out of the body. Urethral stricture refers to a narrowing or blockage in the urethra caused by swelling, injury, or infection. The blockage slows the flow of urine out of the penis. Urethral stricture affects about 0.6 % of men as they age. This problem is much more common in men.


  1. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)

BPH refers to a noncancerous enlargement of the prostate gland. This gland normally starts out the size and shape of a walnut. The prostate continues to grow as you age. When the prostate grows, it squeezes down on your urethra. The bladder muscle must work harder to push out urine. Over time, the bladder muscle can weaken, and you can develop urinary symptoms. BPH is quite common in older men. About half of men ages 51 to 60 have this condition. By age 80, up to 90 percent of men will have BPH.


  1. Post-vasectomy pain syndrome

With a vasectomy the surgeon cuts the vas deferens, so that sperm can no longer get into the semen. About 1 to 2 percent of men who have a vasectomy will have pain in their testicles for more than 3 months after the procedure. It can be caused by damage to structures in the testicle, or pressure on nerves in the area.


Pelvic Pain Awareness Month PART 1:


The 10 most common causes of pelvic pain in women or men:

  1. Urinary tract infection (UTI) is a bacterial infection in your urinary tract. which includes your urethra, bladder, ureters, and kidneys. UTIs are quite common, especially in women. About 40 to 60 percent of women will get a UTI in their lifetime, often in their bladder. A common symptom is pain in the middle of the pelvis and in the area around the pubic bone.


  1. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

Gonorrhea and chlamydia are bacterial infections that are transmitted through sexual activity. In many cases, gonorrhea and chlamydia will not cause symptoms. Women may have pain in their pelvis — especially when they urinate or have a bowel movement. In men, the pain can be in the testicles.

  1. Hernia

A hernia occurs when an organ or tissue pushes through a weak spot in the muscles of your abdomen, chest, or thigh. This creates a painful bulge. Hernia pain gets worse when you cough, laugh, bend over, or lift something. About 25% of males will experience a hernia, typically as they age, and the muscles become weaker. Weightlifting can exacerbate an existing hernia.

  1. Appendicitis The appendix is a small organ on the right side of the body that is attached to your large intestine. Inflammation in the appendix can cause pelvic pain. If sharp pain in the lower right abdomen gets worse when you breathe deeply, cough, or sneeze, seek immediate medical attention.


  1. Kidney stones or infection form when salts or minerals, such as calcium, build up in the urine, and the body has trouble getting rid of them. These minerals can clump together and crystallize into urinary stones. The stones only tend to cause symptoms when the body tries to pass them. The pain usually starts in your side and lower back, but it can radiate to your lower belly and groin. You can also have pain when you urinate. Kidney stone pain comes in waves that get more intense and then fade. Even if they can pass on their own, your doctor can help with pain medication. Drink lots of water.


  1. Cystitis is an inflammation of the bladder that is usually caused by an infection of the urinary tract. It causes pain or pressure in your pelvis and lower belly. It is most common in women in their 30s and 40s. A doctor will typically use a short course of antibiotics to treat a bladder infection.


  1. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), sometimes called spastic colon. It commonly causes symptoms along the intestinal tract. IBS affects about twice as many women as men, and it usually starts before age 50. The abdominal pain and cramps of IBS tend to go away temporarily after a bowel movement. Diet changes, stress management, and medications may help.


  1. Adhesions are bands of scar-like tissue. They form between organs or structures that are not meant to be connected. You can get adhesions after abdominal surgery. Adhesions do not always cause symptoms. When they do, belly pain is most common.


  1. Pudendal nerve entrapment

The pudendal nerve supplies feeling to your genitals, anus and urethra. An injury, surgery or growth can put pressure on this nerve in the area where it enters or leaves the pelvis. Pudendal nerve entrapment causes nerve pain. This feels like an electric shock or deep aching pain in the genitals, the area between the genitals and rectum (perineum), and around the rectum. The pain gets worse when you sit and improves when you stand up or lie down.


  1. Pelvic floor muscle spasm Much as spasm of neck and shoulder muscles can lead to tension headaches, spasm of the pelvic floor can lead to genital pain and lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS). Pain can be felt in the penis, testicles, perineum (sensation of “sitting on a golf ball”), lower abdomen and lower back.

You CAN help your body fight COVID-19!

Physiotherapists are celebrating Movement for Good Health NOW instead of on 10 May 2020, saying South Africans in lockdown must keep moving for healthy immune systems

One of our best defences against pandemics like COVID-19 is to keep our bodies as healthy as possible.

Critical to a good immune system that can fight off disease is exercise – not just gym or soccer or running, but regular movement, throughout the day. “Our bodies evolved to move all the time, not just in short bursts of strenuous activity,” says Rogier van Bever Donker. “Our ancestors used different muscle groups in constant activity, whether milking cows or ploughing fields or scrubbing clothes on a washboard.”

We need regular movement to keep our lymphatic system working. A bit like our blood circulation system, the lymphatic system is a network that moves a clear fluid called lymph around our bodies, which is especially important to our immune system. But unlike our veins and arteries, the lymphatic system does not have a pump – it’s dependent on us moving to keep the lymph going. Our muscles are the pump for this crucial defence against infection!

In addition, remember that many diseases, including COVID-19, attack the lungs – and people who move a lot every day, who use their muscles, have better lung function.

So, any way of boosting your level of movement is helpful and improves your resilience.  Those who exercise, who move more, have a reduced risk of illness.

Even small increases in light-intensity physical activity can reduce your risk of poor health, scientists have found – if you add as little as 30 minutes a day, broken up into chunks of ten minutes or even less at a time, if you like.

But how do you get more movement in your own home, in a confined space? You can move – even while lying in bed! Some of our suggestions:

  1. Do not sit for more than 20 minutes at a time. Plan to get up – set your phone to remind you. Walk around the outside of your house briskly.
  2. Loosen up your neck – turn your head from one side to the other, look down so your chin is pressed into your chest, look as far up as you can; and then do it all over again, a few times.
  3. Lie down on your bed and lift your knees, pulling your feet towards your body so your legs form an upside-down V. Press the small of your back into the bed; then tighten your tummy muscles and count to five. Relax and then repeat five times.
  4. Still on your bed in the same position, keep your knees together and swing them from side to side, counting a total of five swings each way, then relax and once more, repeat.
  5. Use your children as exercise equipment. Swing them over your head to give your arms some exercise; lie down and do push-ups with a small child on your back – a great game which will have them giggling.
  6. Put on some music and dance. Aim to use your arms, legs and pelvis in the dance, no matter how funny this looks (a good laugh is great therapy, anyway)!

Celebrate Movement for Good Health Day NOW by getting your blood pumping and boosting your immunity!


Article courtesy of the South African  Society of Physiotherapy. (