We get it, guys. Your prostate health isn’t the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning. There are other more “important” things to do. Like set your fantasy football lineup, sculpt your beard and even mow the yard.
But how well do you really know your prostate? Many men experience changes in their urinary system and just assume they are normal due to age, especially if they are over 50. There are steps you can take to keep your prostate as healthy as possible and symptoms you don’t want to ignore.
The stats don’t lie. One in five men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and one in 10 will be diagnosed with an enlarged prostate. So fellas, it’s time to start listening to your prostate.
One in five men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and one in 10 will be diagnosed with an enlarged prostate.
The prostate is a gland of the male reproductive system. It is about the size of a walnut and surrounds part of the urethra (the tube that empties urine from the bladder). Because of its position, urine flow can be either slow or difficult to control if the prostate is inflamed, enlarged or needs to be surgically removed.
The most common prostate diagnosis is Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH), usually referred to as enlarged prostate. As men age the prostate continues to grow and the tissue can pinch into the urethra. If you experience any of the common signs, you need to see a physician to make sure other diagnoses are ruled out.
What your prostate is telling you
Common signs of prostate disorders include:
- Weak or interrupted flow of urine
- Sudden and frequent urination (especially at night)
- Trouble starting the flow of urine
- Pain or burning while urinating
- Diffuse pain in back, hips or pelvis that has no other explanation and does not go away
These symptoms could mean a variety of things and are often not related to prostate cancer. However, if you experiencing any of them, it’s best to talk to your doctor about it.
Exercise and prevention
While age, race and family history are uncontrollable factors that affect prostate health, there are many things that you can do. First, exercise!
Research shows that five hours a week of light to moderate exercise decreases your likelihood of an enlarged prostate by 30 to 50 percent. It can be any exercise — just move more. Second, if you smoke or use smokeless tobacco, stop. Third, eat a well-balanced diet with lots of green vegetables and low in animal fat.
Pelvic therapy for prostate health
If you have had a surgical procedure from prostate cancer, or are experiencing symptoms such as urine leaking, pelvic pain or difficulty urinating, physical therapy from a pelvic floor therapist may be able to help. Specially trained therapists can teach you how to use your pelvic floor muscles to improve control with urination. They can also help reduce prostate pain if that is also an issue.
Still not sure what to do about your prostate symptoms? Don’t worry. Any action is better than no action. Read this article on why you don’t want to take the John Wayne Approach.
Fnd a physical therapist specializing in men’s health and pelvic floor therapy near you. Call Baylor Rehab Outpatient Services at 1.877.7BAYLOR or email us at BaylorRehabInfo@bir-rehab.com.
About the author
This content has been written or reviewed by a member of the Baylor Scott & White Health medical staff.
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