By Dr. Brooke Meinema, DPT, FAFS Background Chronic pelvic pain (CPP) is pain in the…
Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain (CP/CPP)
By Dr. Brooke Meinema, DPT, FAFS
Chronic pelvic pain in men, also known as non-bacterial chronic prostatitis, is pelvic pain or discomfort in men for at least 3 months and is seen in 2-6% of men. It can be caused by other conditions or an issue all its own, which can make diagnosis and treatment difficult. If the pain is a result of another medical condition, treating the initial condition may be enough to resolve the symptoms of CP/CPP. The impacts of CP/CPP are not only physical but also impact mental health as well as the ability to complete regular activities.
Symptoms associated with CPP will vary from person to person. Some men may experience constant, steady pain while others will have pain that is intermittent (comes and goes). You may have sharp pains and cramping at times, other times may feel like more of a dull ache. There may be pain during or after intercourse, pain with ejaculation, sitting, using the bathroom (during bowel movements or urination), frequency with urination, pain with lifting/exercise, or pain with other hobbies and tasks. Keeping track of the symptoms you experience and relaying them to your medical providers can help to develop a better plan for treatment and care.
UPOINT Classification System
The UPOINT classification system helps providers classify CP/CPP to guide treatment approaches. Men suffering from CP/CPP may be classified by one or, more commonly, grouped in multiple domains. There are six domains in total. Understanding the phenotype you are classified in can help determine the best route for treatment.
As mentioned in the previous section, treatments for CPP will vary depending on the cause. If your pain is triggered from a medical condition, getting treatment for this condition may be enough to clear up the symptoms you are experiencing. If not, your provider may recommend different medications, psychotherapy, trigger point injections, or physical therapy.
What can physical therapy do?
No matter the cause of the pelvic pain, our bodies often will have similar responses. Many men with pelvic pain experience tension and guarding within the pelvic floor leading to increased discomfort. Working to reduce the tension, desensitizing the tissues of the pelvis, addressing breathing and other musculoskeletal issues, and working on relaxation techniques can be a great help for many people dealing with pelvic pain. Our goal is to not only work on reducing the symptoms within our sessions, but also give our patients tools to address their pelvic pain on their own to help them be independent in their own relief and give them a sense of control over their bodies. If you have been struggling with chronic pelvic pain, reach out! We’d love to talk with you about different options and treatment approaches we could take to help you along your journey.