Success story: rapid recovery from non-bacterial prostatitis through physical therapy

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 Hi all,

I wanted to make a post in case this might be useful to anyone else suffering from prostatitis. I’m 26 years old and was diagnosed two months ago with nonbacterial prostatitis. It's honestly been one of the roughest periods of my life. However, in the past week, my symptoms have decreased nearly 90%, and my symptoms now border on unnoticeable.

While I know everyone's case is different, hopefully my experience could be useful to someone on here and could point them in the right direction.

My symptoms were a burning in the urethra, a sharp acute pain in the urethra about 3/4" in from the tip of my penis, and later on, pressure in the rectum/tailbone area, off and on flow during urination, and frequent voiding.

At its worse, the burning pain was constant throughout the day and debilitating. I was on prescription codeine to deal with pain, and became non-productive and deeply depressed.

I went to a few urologists, who prescribed me antibiotics. I went on azithromycin, doxycycline, and Bactrim for weeks, without any improvement. Finally, my last urologist referred me to a physical therapist, who specialized in pelvic floor pain.

By this point, I was extremely pessimistic and depressed, and stressed; my symptoms began to get increasingly worse with the stress. I noticed my pelvic muscles were tensing, particular with some of my new symptoms involving off-and-on urination.

Impatient for my wait to see the physical therapist, I decided to do some pelvic floor drop exercises that I read about online, to see if they would help relax those muscles. They immediately solved my issues with off-and-on urination, and frequent voiding. The burning in my urethra halved in intensity with just two days of pelvic relaxation.

As I noticed this working, I got less stressed and I think I went from a negative spiral to a virtuous feedback loop, where my stress become less and less as I gained a more positive outlook.

A week later, my physical therapist examined me and determined that my hip bones were misaligned, causing my pelvic floor to be stretched and my symptoms to occur. As far as the cases she's seen, mine was fairly straightforward, as was the treatment: a simple exercise where I pressed one leg up and the other down. It's largely now reset my hip bones into alignment. In a single day, my symptoms decreased 80%.

An interested side-effect has been an increase in the flexibility of my right knee: I've gained 30 degrees of motion in just a week, after just a week of realignment exercises.

Now - just a six days later - it's to the point that I hardly notice any symptoms, and my life is pretty much back to normal. According to my physical therapist, I'm recovering surprisingly fast and while many people's recoveries take quite a bit longer, people can ultimately recover from this condition, which appears to be in many cases a muscular-skeletal issue.

I'm posting here because a few weeks ago, I was scrambling on the internet for answers, breaking down crying, and panicking about my future. And now, I feel like I have my life back. I'm drinking caffeine and beer again, and have begun sitting without a donut cushion. My physical therapist expects I'll make a complete recovery within two months.

Last month, I found myself sitting in the waiting room of an ER for six hours, and was sent home with pain medication, with no answers. Now, I realize I could've laid down on the floor of the waiting room, did a simple exercise, and gotten rapid relief in a day - more than the codeine prescription I was ultimately sent home with.

If you're reading this and haven't tried physical therapy yet, and your tests have come back negative for bacteria, I'd recommend you consider pelvic floor tension/pelvic misalignment as a possible cause and maybe try to find a physical therapist who specializes in pelvic floor issues. They can be hard to find, but could be well worth it. I'm driving 90 minutes to my appointments, but am more than happy to make the drive.

I should end by saying that I think prostatitis is a collection of various issues, and ultimately, your solution will depend on the particular cause in your case. This may not help, especially if the cause is bacterial. But if you haven't investigated whether there might be a skeletal-muscular cause involving pelvic misalignment and/or pelvic floor tension, I'd recommend checking it out, especially if you have non-bacterial prostatitis.

 

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  • Posted

    Hi, 

    This is great news, you must be relieved :-)

    I wish you continue to experience increasing improvements. 

    I don;t have prostatis, but had a urologist send me to a physio for pelvic floor exercises and bladder training 2 years ago. It didn;t do much for me.

    Do you mind elaborating on what kind of exercises are you doing ? Any instructions or training videos ?

    Much appreciate your comments.

    Rama

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    • Posted

      Hi Rama,

             My exercise is really geared towards realigning my hip bones. The tops of them are twisted in opposite directions, so I'm doing an exercise that shifts them back into place. People reading this might have their hips twisted in the opposite direction, or something else altogether that this exercise would make worse, so my particular exercise may not help the average person.

      Since the most suitable exercise really depends on your particular issue - and a physical therapist who specializes in pelvic floor issues would be the best person to determie that -  I think the best thing I could recommend to people to try would be pelvic floor drop exercise. There are some good videos on youtube that help you do that and focus on that area. It's a good place to start, and helps you focus on relaxing your pelvic floor, no matter what's causing stress.

      For me, after a day of pelvic floor drops and becoming aware of tension in my pelvic floor (and relaxing that while urinating), my problems with frequency, and intermittent stream while voiding largely disappeared in a day. My case seems particularly quick to resolve, so that may take some folks longer. I'd encourage folks to keep with it and maybe it'll help. 

      Sorry your physio work didn't help you out. Maybe your condition wasn't muscular-skeletal in nature. Were you referred to someone who specializes in pelvic floor issues? Hope you're able to find something that helps you out. Best of luck!

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    • Posted

      Hey c90dan

      Thanks for replying. You are absolutely right. Unless the right exercise is done as per your specific anattomical condition, it may do more harm than good. That is what happened in my case. The uro did a cystoscopy and conxluded there is no flow obstruction, sent me to PT to learn 'reverse kegels' which as per my current understanding is pelvic floor drop. But she taught me to pull my pelvic floor up and maintain for increasing periods before relaxing it. After about a year, 6 visits and lots of $$$, I ended up with retention and reduced kidney funtion from hydronephrosis. My case is an example of damage done by encounter with inexperienced and poorly trained PT.

      I gather from your post that the PT in your case used proper diagnosis to infer your musculoskeletal issue. Well there are good ones and lousy ones out there, just a word of caution to everyone.

      All the best.

      Rama

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  • Posted

    Hey there,

    Amazing story. Thanks so much for sharing. I am 34 years old. Funny enough, I have been suffering with the same symptoms for the last year and half and it has been determined that I am also having pelvic issues. You described the symptoms perfectly. I Have been referred to a physiotherapy specialist as well and I start in two weeks. This was very uplifting for me and reading your posting today has lifted my spirits as well.

    Thanks for the tips and I will look up some pelvic floor exercises. I'm hoping this will help prior to the visit.

    I will keep you posted on my issues as well.

    Chris

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    • Posted

      Glad I could help, and a quick tip on pelvic floor exercises: sometimes they can make things worse, depending on how you're misaligned (e.g. you exercise in a way that stresses your pelvic floor area).

      A really good, basic one that won't do that , and that you can do in the meantime before your appointment is called a pelvic floor drop (search for that on Youtube and there's some good videos). It helps release tension in your pelvic floor area, and helps you become aware of where your pelvic floor muscles are. Once I was able to do that, I could focus on that region throughout the day and notice myself tensing up there. 

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    • Posted

      What was your PT's opinion on keegles? I've heard/read differening opinions on them - some pro others con, claiming it can make the issue worse. 

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    • Posted

      She had me do Kegels once to measure the strength of that area with an electromyogram. Other than that, she hasn't instructed me to do Kegels, so it's hard to say. I could see how it could really help people who have weakness in their pelvic floor muscles, but maybe worsen things in others.

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    • Posted

      One more thought on Kegels - when I was having issues with acute urethra pain (it's since disappeared), I could bring about the pain when I did a Kegel contraction. I remember being confused by this, because at the time, I thought there was something physically wrong with my urethra. (It also would hurt after I urinated, but not during).

      Thinking back, it now makes sense: I was having refered pain from my pelvic floor muscles, and tensing my Kegels must've been the trigger. That, and using my pelvic floor muscles during urination.

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    • Posted

      I should have clarified, your physical therapist will give you a list of exercises attuned to your specific problem. I bought a book on pelvic floor pain and started to do list of general pelvic floor exercises, and I noticed a few actually made it worse, so I just stuck to the pelvic floor drop exercises until my appointment.

      Two months with this was rough enough - I can't imagine a year and a half of this. Keep us updated and best of luck!

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  • Posted

    Do you mind expaining on what kind of exercises are you doing ? Any instructions or training videos ?

    ​Thanks for your help

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    • Posted

      Hi greg37066 - I'd recommend looking up 'pelvic floor drop' on youtube. It's a simple exercise that helps you release tension from your pelvic floor, and become aware of where it is - once I did that, I found myself tensing up in my pelvic floor and could consciously relax myself there.

      I'd tell you my exercise, but it's to untwist my hips - yours could be twisted in the other direction and it could make it worse, unfortunately. So, the right exercises really depend on a good diagnosis of your particular muscle/alignment issues. But the pelvic floor drop exercises would be a good place to start.

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  • Posted

    One thing I forgot to mention: my PT instructed me to quit keeping my wallet in my back pocket. I keep it in my right back pocket, and that's the hip bone that was shifted upwards. Not sure if that could be a possible cause (I did do 30K+ mi. of driving last year for work), but I'm now keeping my wallet in my side or front pocket.

    May not be a problem at all for you, but something I thought I'd mention, since I'd never given that a second thought before.

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  • Posted

    Hi , thanks for sharing.

    Would you mind please pasting the link of the Youtube video that you saw that helped you initially with the pelvic floor drop relaxation.

    I've combed through youtube looking but they are all very different. One video was just about visulising but that didn't help me. Please take just 1 min to find the video and copy and past the link into this thread. I've spend 1hr looking but don't know which one to follow. Please help

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    • Posted

      Hi Greg,

      Actually, I learned the pelvic floor relaxation exercises I used from a book, but it looks like the few videos on youtube are similar (except the visualizing one that came up second in my search, and I think you mentioned). (One a side note, I wouldn't recommend the book necessarily, since it prescribes exercises that could make someone worse, depending on their particular pelvic issue).

      So, for the youtube video, if you type 'pelvic floor pain', the first video shows the technique where you press your arms against your raised legs. That's an easy way to start releasing your pelvic floor area, and I used that a few times.

      The third video, is more the breathing technique, which I did the most of. With that exercise, you need to exert more conscious control, and I found it helped me to learn where my pelvic floor was.

      Once you get the hang of it, you can realize how often you're tensing your pelvic floor muscles, and can consciously relax them, even without doing these exercises.

      I should add, just pelvic floor drop relaxation very likely won't fix things by itself. There is no youtube video that will cure this, unfortunately (if only it did!). But, it can help things to get less tense and may help reduce your pain, like it did with me. I also found relief from intermittend urination and frequent voiding once I learned where my pelvic floor was and could consciously relax it during urination.

      Another key tip I've learned is to relax - which is easier said than done when you're in pain - but when you're stressed and panicked about being in pain, it's very hard to not tense up your whole body. When your whole body is tense, it's difficult to relax your pelvic floor. For me, taking a warm sitz bath helped, or also consciously accepting the pain was there and breathing through it. (A lot of times, the relief from pain wasn't instant, but took a while).

      I'd definitely recommend finding a physical therapist who specialises in pelvic floor issues and who can determine what's causing pain and prescribe certain stretches or exercises.

      I actually just messed myself back up again, by going on a hiking trip that proved much more strenuous than I expected, and am now back in pain. That's all thanks to some lower back muscles that I ended up tensing from a too heavy backpack - those back muscles are now pulling on my pelvic floor muscles. (It's amazing - I actually lost 20 degrees of rotation in my right leg, before and after my hiking trip, due to becoming misaligned in my pelvis again.) I'll need some more work, and my PT has been helping me along. I know this might take a while longer, but I'm fully confident I can get back to where I was with more therapy, and can fully recover from this.

      Physical therapists who specialize in pelvic floor issues for men are a bit difficult to find, but they are out there. (Many pelvic floor specialists/videos/books tend to focus on women, while it seems that pelvic floor issues with men has typically been blamed on prostate issues. But thankfully, that's changing!).

      I was lucky enough to be refered to someone by my urologist, but I did track down a pelvic floor pain website online that has a lot of referrals in the comments sections of their blog entries.

      Best of luck, and hope you can find someone that is able to help you.

      Emis Moderator comment: I have removed product/website etc names as we do not allow repeated posting of these in the forums. If users wish to exchange these details please use the Private Message service.

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    • Posted

      Hi Greg, as I suspected, my reply got flagged for including a link. Hopefully, it'll get approved soon. In the meantime, I'd recommend trying the video by Aoibhin Mc Greal (it's the third result I get when I type in 'pelvic floor drop'wink. There's another video that shows an exercise where you press your hands against your raised legs - that works too, although I didn't do that one as much.

      A few quick notes:

      -It can be hard to relax your pelvic floor when you're stressed and tense all over. I've found warm sitz baths and breathing through/accepting the pain can help.

      -I've found pain relief from pelvic floor drops can take a while, so if you do get relief, it might take a while. It's easy to get impatient, but I'd encourage you to stick with it.

      -I fully believe finding a physical therapist knowledgable in pelvic floor issues is key - pelvic floor drops may help you find some relief, but a physical therapist can figure out what particular issue you have and figure out the right course of treatment.

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    • Posted

      Sorry for the emoticon - it automatically made one from the period and parenthesis I typed.
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    • Posted

      Hi Danial (i guess that is your name)

      I'm in a very similar boat to what you were in. I've was diagnosed with prostatitis 18 months ago. The urologist put me on Tavanic for 3 weeks (didn't work) then Doxycyline for 4 weeks (also didn't work) From that point i was told there was no cure for non bacterial prostatitis and just had to live with it.( i have a standing desk now as i can't sit down anymore ) Strange thing is that my PSA levels are normal and my prostate is not enlarged, its just very sore.  I found the video by Aoibhin Mc Greal thanks very much.As I'm desperate to get better i will definitely persue this angle and also see a physiotherapist, what the hell have i got to loose. I'll post results once all done. Cheers.

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    • Posted

      Hey Greg and everyone else,

      I had my first physiotherapy visit today and although it was only consultation, I feel a million times better already. Something that the physiotherapist said to me was non bacterial prortititus is just label, meaning it could mean a million different things. The fact that it's none bacterial is a positive thing. She said it's important to not read into the diagnosis so much which was a huge relief.

      With being diagnosed with pelvic pain, she reminded me that my pelvis, bladder and prostate are muscle and when they are injured, they need to be worked in order to get better. Just like a pulled quad or hamstring, difference is you can stretch it out right away to bring some relief.

      I spent a lot of time going over my history prior to the day i started to have this whole issue. It turns for me that this is mostly stressed induced. In fact it's not my prostate that is the problem, it's the muscles surrounding my prostate and bladder which is what is causing the pain and irritation. I learnt that my pelvis has a direct connection to my bladder, so if I have a soar lower back, my bladder will be affected and my brain will send a signal that there is pain.

      She gave me some breathing exercises to start off with to start relaxing my muscles and pelvis. For me this is stressed induced. I have to learn how to relax. I also am starting an exercise which I lay on my back on the floor, place my legs up on the couch and practice my breathing techniques. This is supposed to relax my muscles and especially my pelvis. I need to do this for a minimum 15 minutes a day.

      I have an appointment next week where so stretching and adjustments will begin. I will keep you posted. Just wanted to share this positive news cause this is a great start, especially going the last year and half without know what I have exactly.

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    • Posted

      Yep, my prostate wasn't enlarged either and it was just a little sore, and definitely not boggy. Makes sense that it's muscular rather than prostate-related.

      Best of luck with physiotherapy. Also, see if you can try to find a physical therapist that specializes in pelvic floor issues. I've seen stories of folks go to PTs that aren't skilled in pelvic floor issues, and they're just given some basic stretches. Sometimes that works, but sometimes it doesn't, and a specialist is needed. Cheers!

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