The 4 Dos and Don'ts If Chronic Pelvic Pain Hits

Chronic nonbacterial prostatitis affects around 10 to 15 per cent of men. The condition can appear like a knife to the pelvis or build and change over many months. For men, it can be a disturbing and unsettling time of confusion and uncertainty. If you've just been lumbered with prostatitis, or know someone who has, here are four dos and don't for when it hits. 

1. Don't panic

Urologist Dr Curtis Nickel recommends forgetting about it if it's not really bothering you. Sit in a hot bathtub, on a heating pad, do low impact exercise, eat well and see if it goes away. If it's quite severe and acute there's a reasonable chance you have an infection that needs to be diagnosed and treated. If It's chronic and grumbling along there are many options to try. Find an empathetic and understanding specialist who doesn't want to treat you with either a drug or surgery. 

2. Do treat the internet with caution  

The internet can be a double-edged sword - on the one hand, you'll have endless research material to get stuck into and learn about your condition. There are stories and experiences which will resonate with your own situation making you feel less alone. On the other hand, there are some real horror stories that can panic and terrify you into thinking you'll wind up like them. Don't get sucked into the world of panic and catastrophizing. It's good to read up about what you have but not become obsessed with it.    

3. Do see a doctor

Remember chronic prostatitis is not life-threatening. You won't die from it. Men's health physiotherapist Gerard Greene says it's important men presenting with pelvic pain, urinary symptoms plus bowel issues are screened for serious pathology. Sufferers criticize urologists in online forums and groups for not finding anything, but as we are keen for a definite diagnosis, we often forget that not having something worrying show up on a test is actually a good thing. 

4. Do accept this may be chronic

There is no magic pill to make prostatitis vanish. Chronic non-bacterial prostatitis represents about 90 per cent of all cases of prostatitis; there's no known cause or clinically proven treatments. Meaning no matter how much you think the next antibiotic will be the cure, chances are it won't. Once you stop hammering your body with antibiotics you'll have to accept chronic means chronic, but not forever and not unmanageable. 

Published on January 04, 2021

COAPS Podcast: #12 Interview with Canada Research Chair in Urologic Pain and Inflammation Dr Curtis Nickel
COAPS Podcast: #2 Interview with physiotherapist Gerard Greene Treating prostatitis: Any cause for optimism? Murphy AB, Macejko A, Taylor A, Nadler RB. Chronic prostatitis: management strategies. Drugs. 2009;69(1):71–84.


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