The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that all men have. It’s found in the pelvis and it is part of the male reproductive system (women don’t have them!). If the prostate becomes swollen, tender, and inflamed, it is a condition called “prostatitis.” This isn’t cancer, and it’s different from having an “enlarged prostate.”
Symptoms of Prostatitis There are four types of prostatitis. Each has its own set of symptoms and causes. These include:
1. Acute bacterial prostatitis. The urinary tract is made up of the kidneys, bladder, and the tubes that pass between them. If bacteria from here finds its way into the prostate, an infection can occur. This type of prostatitis comes on quickly.
• High fever;
• Muscle aches;
• Joint pain;
• Pain around the base of the penis or scrotum;
• Lower back pain;
• Feeling like you need to have a bowel movement;
• Trouble urinating;
• Weak urine stream.
Acute bacterial prostatitis is a severe condition and medical care should be sought right away.
2. Chronic bacterial prostatitis. This is a milder bacterial infection that can linger for several months. Some men get it after they’ve had a urinary tract infection (UTI) or acute bacterial prostatitis. The symptoms of chronic bacterial prostatitis often come and go. This makes them easy to miss.
• Painful, urgent, frequent urination;
• Pain after ejaculation;
• Lower back pain;
• Rectum pain;
• A “heavy” feeling behind the scrotum;
• Blood in semen;
• A urinary tract infection;
• Urinary blockage (no urine comes out).
3. Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS). This is the most common type of prostatitis. It shares many of the same signs as bacterial prostatitis. The difference is that when tests are run, no bacteria are present with this type. Doctors aren’t sure what causes CP/CPPS. Triggers include stress, nearby nerve damage, and physical injury. Chemicals in the urine or a past UTI may play a role. CP/CPPS has also been linked to immune disorders like chronic fatigue syndrome and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
The main sign of CP/CPPS is pain that lasts more than 3 months in at least one of these body parts:
• Penis (often at the tip);
• Between scrotum and rectum;
• Lower abdomen;
• Lower back.
Pain may also occur during urination or ejaculation. Incontinence, frequency and urgency may also occur. A weak urine stream is another common symptom of CP/CPPS.
4. Asymptomatic prostatitis. Men who have this type of prostatitis have an inflamed prostate but no symptoms. Diagnosis may only occur if a doctor does a blood test to check prostate health. Asymptomatic prostatitis can lead to infertility.
Prostatitis Risk Factors
Prostate problems are more likely:
• Between the ages of 36 and 50;
• History of UTI;
• History of groin injury;
• Urinary catheter is used;
• Prostate biopsy;
• HIV/AIDS infection;
• History of prostatitis.
An inflamed or infected prostate gland is common in men of all ages. Regardless of the type of prostatitis, lowering inflammation systemically and locally in the prostate relieves symptoms. Physicians prescribe antibiotics for bacterial prostatitis but use anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve symptoms related to the other forms of prostatitis.
Whole body cryotherapy is a non-invasive, safe, drug-free mechanism for lowering systemic inflammation and relieving symptoms related to all kinds of prostatitis.
Here’s how it works: Whole body cryotherapy exposes the body (from the neck down) to extremely cold temperature. The body responds to this cold stimulus by releasing analgesics and anti-inflammatory cytokines. These biochemicals are blood-borne and travel throughout the body, reducing pain and inflammation everywhere (including in organs like the brain, GI tract and prostate!). By reducing systemic inflammation at the cellular level, prostate inflammation is relieved, as are related symptoms such as pain, difficulty urinating etc.
Additionally, there is a physical component to the anti-inflammatory effects of cryotherapy. Cold causes vasoconstriction of blood vessels, tissue and muscles. Vasoconstriction physically pushes inflammation out of these areas. Inflammation is often visibly reduced (swelling recedes) and pain diminishes.
At Chill Cryotherapy, our medical advisor is a board-certified urologist who oversees our cryotherapy protocols and treatment plans. Our male clients often report a decline in urinary difficulties, including those related to prostatitis and enlarged prostate. By reducing inflammation throughout the body, and locally in the prostate, whole body cryotherapy can be used to significantly reduce symptoms related to prostatitis.
Multiple cryotherapy treatments are often necessary to receive maximum symptom relief. In general our clients report significant improvement after 10 cryotherapy treatments. Please call Chill Cryotherapy to discuss possible treatment options for prostatitis and other prostate issues. We will design a customized treatment plan to help you feel better as quickly as possible!