Prostatitis is the inflammation and swelling of the prostate gland. It can be acute or chronic, and it has varying causes, including bacterial infection, injury to the prostate and nervous or immune system disorders. In many instances, the cause is never known, according to MayoClinic.com. Certain exercises can protect prostate health and help reduce some of the painful symptoms associated with prostatitis.
Exercise might relieve pain associated with chronic prostatitis and chronic pelvic pain syndrome. If you experience abdominal, groin, genital, rectal or lower back pain, difficulties urinating, painful orgasms or other symptoms from prostatitis, exercise can be an effective lifestyle-based part of treatment. Exercise might also help manage the side-effects of certain prostate cancer treatments, notes the Harvard Medical School. Even men who are generally unresponsive to other types of treatment can be helped by exercising.
How to Benefit
A variety of exercises can help manage prostatitis pain. Aerobic, or cardiovascular, exercise is believed to be the most effective type, but strengthening, flexibility and movement exercises can help to a lesser extent, according to Johns Hopkins Health Alerts. Just three to five hours of vigorous aerobic exercise per week can benefit prostate health. Brisk walking, jogging, running, swimming and step aerobics are standard methods of cardiovascular exercise.
Some types of aerobic exercise, such as jogging and running, are considered high-impact. Over time, these routines can damage parts of the legs and feet. In addition, they might be uncomfortable if you have a severely swollen prostate. Consider aerobic regimens that involve little or no impact with a hard surface. Fast walking, swimming, and some step routines are good options. Always discuss your exercise regimen with your doctor. Besides prostatitis, other personal health factors determine how much exercise you can safely do. Your physician should advise you on how to begin an exercise regimen, and how to safely increase it over time.
Other Relief Options
Besides getting exercise, other lifestyle adjustments ease discomfort from prostatitis. Refrain from consuming caffeine, alcohol and spicy or acidic foods. Soak in warm baths nightly. Reduce pressure on your prostate by sitting on a cushion, using padded shorts and avoiding hard seats. Depending on the type of prostatitis, pharmaceutical and other medical treatments are available as well. Pain medications, such as ibuprofen and aspirin, can help. Prostate massage, antibiotics and alpha blockers are also commonly used.
- MayoClinic.com; Prostatitis; March 18, 2011
- Johns Hopkins Health Alert; Get Moving to Protect Your Prostate; January 27, 2009
- Reuters; Exercise May Relieve Chronic Prostatitis Symptoms; Jan. 24, 2007
- Harvard Medical School's Prostate Knowledge; Exercise and Your Prostate; 2011
- American Urological Association Foundation; Causes and Management of Prostatitis; March 2010