Contributors
Veterinary Chris Hong
Carl
Director, Registered Psychologist
Veterinary Chris HongVeterinary Chris Hong
Eric & Travis
Founders @ Online Prostate Physiotherapy
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Episode 2 of The Blokes Psychology Podcast features Eric & Travis, from Online Prostate Physiotherapy.

Trav & eric are extremely passionate about mens health and in particular, supporting blokes through the journey of prostate cancer and all the challenges that sob brings with it.

Prostate cancer counselling
1 in 5 Men will develop prostate cancer before they’re 85.
This episode is a MUST listen to for all blokes, regardless of age.

And to find out more about the incredible services the gents at
Online Prostate Physiotherapy provide, see below:

Online Prostate Physiotherapy: Who, What & Why?

Online Prostate Physiotherapy is an innovative health service developed to share the burden of care and provide professional guidance to men affected by prostate cancer, ultimately to promote resilience and ownership of health through comprehensive treatment programs. This physiotherapy service was born from a deep desire to assist men through one of their most difficult challenges faced and to address all aspects of health to enhance their quality of life. Therefore our goal is to reach all men experiencing difficulties associated with prostate cancer in order to positively impact their ability to self-manage, especially using Telehealth (online healthcare) to remove barriers and enable men to access good quality physiotherapy regardless of their location. We firmly believe that physiotherapy used as a complimentary service, as it currently is, does not strive towards men achieving their full potential, especially when used in isolation for particular problems. Rather, it is our view that physiotherapy is essential to overview all men’s care to provide assistance into addressing a broad range of factors, especially related to daily lifestyle influences that are commonly overlooked.

Who benefits from online prostate physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy can be beneficial along all stages of cancer with targeted coaching and specific treatment strategies, all of which is supported by scientific evidence. Active surveillance is an option for men upon initial diagnosis of low-grade cancer to see whether it progresses into something more serious over time. This time spent waiting is a fearful period for most men, however it also presents a good opportunity to tackle lifestyle factors which are associated with cancer risk in order to lower future PSA levels (potentially slowing the cancer progression). Although for some men their cancer has progressed to the point where they require surgery to remove their prostate, which can cause issues with holding your bladder and achieving erections during a recovery period up to and longer than 12 months. If diligent enough, placing emphasis on a personally tailored pelvic floor exercise program before and immediately after surgery can significantly reduce the time to get things back on track. Unfortunately there are men who aren’t very lucky, where their cancer is advanced and has spread throughout the body and are likely to be undergoing androgen deprivation therapy. This intensive treatment usually results in a large decline in physical health, particularly with reductions in muscle and bone mass which should be addressed with tailored exercise interventions to help overcome the side effects. Finally, let’s not forget men’s partners. A man’s better half is usually affected just as much by the experience. Getting them involved is important to help their education about what their partner is going through and providing them with some strategies of how they can help along the way.

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

Despite being a common cancer amongst men (1 in 6 men diagnosed by their 85th birthday), the long-term prognosis is quite favourable, achieving survival rates of 95% after 5 years living with the cancer. The initial screening process for monitoring prostate cancer involves a blood test to monitor prostate-specific antigen (PSA), which has dramatically enabled earlier detection and diagnosis of men. Although overdiagnosis of prostate cancer is a significant issue, estimated to occur in over 60% of all cases and inevitably results in a substantial amount of unnecessary treatment and the experience of treatment-related side-effects. Given the circumstances surrounding and the significance of a cancer diagnosis, men who experience higher levels of fear and anxiety are more likely to proceed with active treatments. Therefore it is important to combat these emotions early through coaching and strategies to avoid unnecessary treatment decisions being made upon initial diagnosis.

The most significant lifestyle behaviours that increase prostate cancer risk throughout the course of life are a lack of physical activity and exercise, low quality diet (poor food choices & high alcohol intakes), and smoking tobacco to name a few. Throughout active surveillance, men who address lifestyle factors such as exercise, physical activity and diet in a structured manner, are more likely to delay the progression of low-risk cancer and thus avoid the need for active treatment (usually surgery). Typically physiotherapy is not strongly advocated for or involved throughout this period, although mounting evidence suggests the use of lifestyle interventions can reduce the amount of future treatment of these men.

Physiotherapists are most known for their role in delivering rehabilitative programs to improve incontinence (bladder control) post surgical treatment of prostate cancer. This is extremely common for men to experience, especially during the first 3 months of recovery, however some individuals continue dealing with it up to 12 months after surgery. This is mostly due to the surgical procedure inhibiting the pelvic floor muscles from operating regularly, and like most surgeries, rehab is required afterwards to help them return to normal.  Another common side effect of surgery results in issues associated with erectile and sexual function, which can be associated with the outcome of the surgery due to potential nerve damage sustained throughout the procedure. Full recovery does occur for the majority of men, though slowly, this is a source of significant stress for each guy and their sexual partner. Fortunately, achieving both continence and penetration ready erections is associated with the recovery of quality pelvic floor muscle contractions, therefore must be properly rehabilitated to reach their full potential. Getting a head start on pelvic floor exercise prior to and after surgery has been proven to significantly improve the recovery time for both of these symptoms. In addition there are a significant range of supportive medications and devices that can help keep things on the up, especially in the early return to sex after surgery.

Why onlineprostate.physio is a bloody good option

Delivery of Innovative & Comprehensive Treatment Programs

We’re a clinic that operates 100% online using Telehealth video consultations for weekly discussions during the treatment program and patients have access to direct messaging with their physiotherapist through a secure platform. Given the nature of prostate cancer, it is highly effective to complete all assessments and treatments online as there is little requirement for ‘hands-on’ therapies. Our aim is to use technology to improve the standard of care, where our physiotherapists can carefully monitor progress throughout the program and drive better results. The benefits of being an online based health service are enormous! This brings greater freedom by getting healthcare from home and not needing to worry about travelling, regardless of where you are in the world.

Leaders in Adopting the Latest Evidence for ‘Best Practice’

‘Best practice’ refers to the use of procedures that are accepted or prescribed as being correct or most effective. We’ve recognised that the majority of men won’t be given the opportunity or encouragement to reflect and change their lifestyle habits with any health professionals during active surveillance. This is a period where men often feel averse to living with the knowledge of having cancer despite not doing anything directly about it. Therefore, we’re strong advocates for thoroughly investigating each man’s lifestyle during active surveillance and start them being more active and eating healthier as there is a wealth of research showing this makes an impact.

We Provide Great Quality Care

Through our knowledge and experience we understand the events men encounter during their prostate cancer journey. The side-effects of cancer are widespread, often causing deterioration of physical and mental health, social engagement and personal relationships. As blokes we know how debilitating the symptoms associated with these circumstances can be and we address these issues in a way that’s more like a mate, not a ‘straight down the line’ rigid health professional. Seeking help from us who have a special interest in men’s health issues provides the confidence that you’re seeking help from someone who knows what you need and therefore can reduce the discomfort associated with opening up about these issues.

We offer a no commitment free initial assessment for men who are interested in learning about our treatment programs and would like to discuss their needs with one of our male physios. Whether you are in need of help, or someone you know and love, we encourage taking the initial step towards improving the quality of living as early as possible. As we mentioned above, pain is inevitable but suffering is optional. Choose specialised care and get back to your normal life as quickly as possible. We’re here to help and with a free initial assessment, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

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