Did you know the penis is just a muscle?
Did you know Viagra works just by relaxing this muscle?
How the penis and its supporting muscles contract and relax can affect erectile function, orgasm, ejaculation, and urination.
We’ve all experienced how it feels when muscles are too tight or too weak and become sore and painful. If you’ve ever received a shoulder massage, you have “felt the burn” when a tense muscle gets pressed on.
Breaking this down a bit more, the penis is a type of muscle called smooth muscle, which means it’s under the influence of the fight or flight system called the autonomic nervous system. For example, if you are running away from a tiger in the jungle, it would probably be pretty hard to get an erection. Unfortunately, we don’t have complete control of the penis muscle itself.
However, the muscles that surround the penis and the pelvis are skeletal muscle, the type of muscle we have control over. These skeletal muscles can be trained, strengthened, and assessed just like if you needed rehab on your shoulder or hip.
Did you know there are physical therapists who specialize in the muscles of the penis and pelvic floor? Seriously! Your pelvis is a bowl full of muscles and problems with these muscles are very common.
These pelvic floor physical therapists can help with urinary incontinence, urinary frequency, urgency, constipation, and pelvic pain.
There is even evidence out there that says pelvic floor physical therapy helps men with erectile function, ejaculatory function, and other sexual issues.
But not all pelvic floor physical therapists are trained in these specialized techniques.
So I set out to change that, along with Dr. Jessica Probst, an incredibly talented, evidence-based and cutting-edge pelvic floor physical therapist and owner of Thrive Again Physical Therapy in Washington, DC. Dr. Probst and I hosted an advanced course for physical therapists to help them develop a better understanding of treating the pelvic floor to help men with erectile dysfunction and pelvic pain.
Physical therapists came from all over—including Richmond, Baltimore and as far away as Massachusetts—for this advanced training. To provide hands-on experience for our physical therapists, we brought in male patients who have had incredible success with pelvic floor physical therapy.
Many doctors know how to treat the symptoms of erectile dysfunction. We use pills, injections, vacuum erection aids, and surgically implanted penile prostheses. I prescribe these treatments often, but I also believe strongly in diagnosing the underlying cause of sexual dysfunction and working in a multidisciplinary fashion to find ways that we can fix the underlying problem.
After all, the penis is just a muscle.
Rachel S. Rubin MD Urologist and Sexual Medicine Specialist
Jessica Probst PT, DPT, MTC, PRPC Thrive Again Physical Therapy & Wellness
Male Pelvic Pain and Erectile Dysfunction Course on September 28, 2019
9:00-9:15 Introduction to male pelvic pain/ED (Dr. Jessica Probst)
9:15-9:45 Physiology and pathophysiology of erections and erectile dysfunction, treatment of erectile dysfunction (Dr. Rachel Rubin)
9:45-10:15 Male pelvic pain (Dr. Rachel Rubin)
10:15-10:30 Male pelvic floor anatomy and the role of the pelvic floor in male sexual function (Dr. Jessica Probst)
10:45- 11:00 Lab 1: Palpation and manual technique warm-up (therapists will practice on each other to warm up)
11:00-11:30 Lab 2: Locate the bulbospongiosus, ischiocavernosus, superficial transverse perineal muscle, obturator internus externally and feel for contractions
11:30-11:45 Lab 3: Treatment techniques for OI (externally), ischiocavernosus and bulbospongeosus in basic and alternate positions
11:45-12:15 Lab 4: Internal rectal assessment in supine with focus on anterior portion of puborectalis and OI
12:15- 12:45 Lab 5: Advanced manual treatment techniques and strategies
1:00-1:30 Case studies and Q&A with Dr. Jessica Probst and Dr. Rachel Rubin
1:30-1:45 Post-test and course evaluations