Are You Feeling Frustrated by Ongoing Testicular Pain? Have You Seen Your Physician Providers and Found They Are Unable to Resolve Your Pain? Well, Pelvic PT for Testicular Pain (orchialgia) is Your Next Best Step Towards Feeling Better.
First, let’s get our terminology down. Orchialgia is the medical term for testicular pain and is defined as general pain in and around the testicles. This pain is termed “chronic orchialgia” if it has persisted for more than 3 months. The discomfort may not be isolated to the testicles, it may also be the entire scrotum, the groin, the perineal area, the penis or the inner thighs. A person can have numerous causes for testicular pain such as trauma, tight pants or underwear, reaction to bouncing around too much, compression related to sitting for prolonged periods, prolonged arousal, infections, vasectomy, nerve related pain. There are other things that may cause testicular pain that should be ruled out by your urologist or other physician. These are things such as diabetic neuropathy, kidney stones, retractile testicle (testicle ascends into the groin) and hernia. In our patient’s cases they do usually do not have these things. Instead, they have myofascial (muscles & fascia), nerves and joint contributions causing their pain. Our high quality pelvic PT for testicular pain right here in Grand Rapids, Michigan properly rehabilitates you holisticially ( we treat your spine, hips, legs, pelvic floor) so that you can resolve orchialgia.
Pelvic Floor Dysfunction and Pain are Associated with Chronic Scrotal Pain!
We feel we need to say this again. Pelvic Floor Dysfunction and Pain are Associate with Chronic Scrotal Pain. Full Stop. If you are reading this article because you have chronic testicular pain, please know that you likely have pelvic floor dysfunction. And that pelvic floor dysfunction is very treatable and we will be able to reduce your pain.
This is well published in the medical research, but, unfortunately, urologists are not in the habit of referring patients to pelvic PT for testicular pain, so you are usually left on your own to figure this out. Most Men Find Our Clinic by Googling and Stumbling Upon Us.
What are Your Treatment Options? Why Would Pelvic PT help Testicular Pain?
Well, we help testicular pain because you have muscles and nerves and blood flow and joints and habits that are contributing to your pain and we assess and treat all of these things so you can feel better. Usually the men who come to us have seen their family doctor and may also have seen a urologist. Those providers rule out more serious causes of the pain and treat anything they find. The men who come to us often have been told that there is nothing wrong with them and are often diagnosed with “idiopathic testicular pain”, which means “we don’t know the cause of your pain.” There are no infections. There is no testicular torsion (testicular torsion causes sudden, severe pain). There is no unusual growth. There is no epididymitis (this begins as mild pain that increases gradually). Thus, the men are left with nearly nothing to help them. They try support cups or antibiotic medications, but still have pain. That’s where we come in.
A Pelvic PTs Experience Treating Testicular Pain
Our experience has been that we can help you! The men we see are usually skeptical when they come to PT. Usually they’ve been on our website and something we have written has piqued their curiosity but has not convinced them that we can help them. What they’ve read has given them a glimmer of hope and they come for their pelvic PT evaluation looking for some answers. Frankly, we’ve seen so many men with this condition, we can tell you that you are often angry at the medical system, frustrated by your condition, feeling hopeless and skeptical of anyone or anthing that tells you that you can get better.
Pelvic Physical Therapy for Orchialgia Can Be Very Effective!
Chronic testicular pain has been studied because it has been known to be difficult to treat in urologic practices. It stumps urologists and they know they often cannot get rid of your pain. Unfortunately, they don’t consistently follow what the research has shown: pelvic PT for testicular pain works! One study, published in the Canadian Journal of Medicine, demonstrated that more than 50% of men with testicular pain benefitted from pelvic floor physical therapy and were able to get off of pain meds. Our professional experience has found that the vast majority of our patients are able to have reduction in their pain through our high quality pelvic physical therapy. Our evaluations and treatment are holistic and address the numerous muscle, fascia, joint and nerve restrictions that are contributing to this pain.
Multi-Modal Treatment May Help You!
We are members of the International Pelvic Pain Society and through our active participation in that professional organization, devoted to helping people who have chronic pelvic pain, we know that multimodal treatment is the gold standard for treating anyone with pelvic pain. This means that you may also benefit from having a team of providers who can help reduce your pain. Quite often with chronic pain something in your nervous system happens that is called Central Sensitization. Central Sensitization means that your central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) is upregulated so that it very easily puts you into pain. Treating central sensitization is something we do and we also like you to see other providers, such as a physiatrist or psychologist who can be on your team to calm down your system.
How Do I Know If I am a Candidate for Pelvic PT?
If you are suffering from chronic testicular pain and your physicians are not able to improve your pain, we recommend you have a pelvic PT evaluation. This evaluation will include, with your permission, a rectal exam that assesses your pelvic floor muscles. We also conduct a discreet examination of all of your external pelvic floor muscles, especially those in the perineal area; quite commonly these muscles have trigger points and problems causing pain.
Men who have a pelvic exam that identifies pelvic floor dysfunction are good candidates for pelvic physical therapy.
Most often, we find high tone pelvic floor, meaning the pelvic floor muscles are in spasms and/or quite tight and this is, quite literally, causing testicular tension.
Your High Tone Pelvic Floor Will Be Gently and Effectively Treated With Our Care
Your Pelvic PT Evaluation for your Chronic Testicular Pain Will Also Include a Full Orthopedic Examination & Treatment of Your Hips, Thighs, Low Back and Thoracic Spine
Some of the nerves that go to your genitals come out of your thoracic spine. We find that our patients who have orchialgia have myofascial and joint restrictions in their thoracic spine that can be impairing their nerves and contributing to pain. Other nerves that go to the pelvic region come through the front of your abdominal wall or through the back of your buttocks. We check all of these areas. It is common that a man who we evaluate has considerable myofascial restrictions in all of these areas. We must treat these to decrease his pain.
Men, You Likely Have Considerable Tightness in Many of the Joints and Tissues Related to Your Pelvis, Such as Your Hips, Abdominal wall, Thighs and Low Back:
We usually find an assortment of muscle stiffness, guarding and tightness. Often the inner thighs are filled with connective tissue restrictions. The hamstrings may be very tight. The hip flexors are usually quite tense, stiff and unhappy. We treat all of these myofascial restrictions and we also encourage you to implement a regular exercise routine that we will create with you, something that is do-able for your life. We need to you enhance blood flow to the area, so cardiovascular/aerobic exercises can help. We also need you to improve your flexibility and fascia’s ability to move, so stretches or yoga or other program at home directed to your fascia would be recommended. We want you to limit or alter those things that obviously worsen your pain, such as sitting at your desk for hours on end.
What Does A Typical Appointment Involve?
Men with Testicular Pain usually benefit most from our advanced hands-on, holistic treatments. Usually we do not spend your appointments exercising. However, exercise and specific movements and stretches are crucial to your feeling better, so we teach you what you must commit to be doing everyday at home. We have found that your appointment time is best used receiving the hands-on treatment that you cannot do for yourself. Your treatments may include:
- Myofascial Release that is directed anywhere we find problems. Usually this means to your thoracic spine, low back, hips, thighs and abdominal wall.
- Thoracic and Lumbar fascial and nerve gliding/movement manual therapies and joint mobilization
- Abdominal wall myofascial release and trigger point release
- Treatment to any scar tissue, including scars from hernia surgeries and laparoscopies.
- Trigger point release throughout your abdominal wall, inner thighs, hip girdles, low back.
- Pelvic floor downtraining which includes gentle, external & internal work to get rid of the high tone.
- Pelvic floor rehabilitation to teach you how to optimize how you use these muscles with urinating and bowel movements.
- Recovery training specific to teaching you how to breathe, relax your pelvic floor and abdominal wall, relax your glutes and open up your hips.
- Specific, advanced hands-on manual therapy methods to optimize the passageways in which your multiple nerves travel. Nerves need massive blood flow to function well. We work to enhance your blood flow and restore the bound-down and tight tissues in which your nerves have been living.
What Should I Expect After An Appointment?
Patients tell us that they feel better after an appointment. They say that for the first time they can tell that we are actually working on their problem. They tell us that what we are finding and educating them about, inherently makes sense to them. They tell us that they feel hopeful and willing to implement the things we suggest. They tell us they can urinate better, that their stream doesn’t stop/start as much. They tell us that after intimacy they might not feel as much pain. They tell us that their other pains, such as their low back pain or their lower abdominal pain, are feeling less.
How Do I Get Started with Pelvic Floor PT?
We are located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Our patients travel to our clinic from all over the state of Michigan and also from nearby states. This is because we offer exceptional care and expertise specific to the needs of male pelvic pain. We have advanced training that is male focused; we are NOT simply giving you a “women’s health” treatment. You will be receiving male-specific pelvic pain treatment. We wrote an article that details what to expect during your evaluation, you may find that helpful. If you are interested in being evaluated, please call our clinic and we can get you scheduled.
If you are suffering from chronic testicular pain, our heart goes out to you. We know it is a lonely and frustrating road. We know this because our many patients over the years have taught us this. We consider it an honor to help you on your journey to feeling more like yourself again and we promise to provide you with expert care that is trauma-informed, compassionate and results-driven.
Dr. Maureen O’Keefe, DPT
Purple Mountain Physical Therapy Founder
Leader of Team of Doctors of Physical Therapy who provide expert care for pelvic health