Okay, so you have a whole bunch of weird symptoms that are driving you nuts and interfering with your life. Every doctor tells you there is nothing wrong with you. You feel like you are losing your mind. This is all normal; we hear it from men all the time. So, how do we get to a diagnosis? It takes a bit of digging but it is a fairly straight-forward process.
When it comes to pelvic floor dysfunction, physical and mental health are inseparable. First, we go over your medical history and do a thorough work-up. Dr. Werner looks at blood work to see what comes up. There is an extensive physical exam and one of our nurse practitioners spends time going over your medical history. We need to get a good picture of what is going on your body.
After the physical exam, the patient sees the therapist. As a mental health professional, I’m going to explore your family of origin, your current lifestyle, health habits, and give you several assessments to determine how much stress, anxiety, or depression are active in your life right now. I want to find out how much anxiety or stress is situational and how much is just how you are hardwired as a person.
We go over the whole list of symptoms mentioned in our early blog. We listen to you and your symptoms and we believe you! Then, we ask more questions and see if we can discover symptoms you may have overlooked or did not realize were happening. Many men are amazed when I ask them questions about issues out of the blue. We usually do not tell patients why we are asking questions to minimize psychosomatic events, but if a man has been complaining about perineal pain and I seem to randomly ask about a thin urine stream, they are surprised that they have something to do with each other!
If we see evidence that you might have some issues with your pelvic floor, the final step in a diagnosis is to send you to a physical therapist who specializes in pelvic floor dysfunction. It is important to go to a pelvic floor specialist because most physical therapists get no training in pelvic floor therapy. The pelvic floor therapist will do a thorough pelvic examination. Most frequently, they will attach electrodes to the groin and the perineum, and they measure the muscular activity in the pelvis. If muscles are tense, the electrodes pick up on this and indicate with a number – The higher the number, the more pelvic tension there is.
We have a pelvic floor specialist on staff, Steven Lavender, who can provide a diagnosis and recommend a tailored treatment plan (read his bio here).
Our goal is to treat the whole person. Contact us today to schedule a free phone consult.