Historically, in Australia, men’s health physiotherapy evolved from physios practicing women’s health where the common element was the management of incontinence. Unsurprisingly, these practitioners were predominantly female and the idea that the management of male incontinence following prostate cancer surgery was supplied by female physiotherapists. And for the most part they were very proficient.
I recall a meeting of women’s health physiotherapists in Australia where they were debating the merits or otherwise of expanding their group title to include ‘men’s health’ and/or ‘pelvic health’. As one of the very few man delivering men’s health continence and pelvic pain services at the time I was invited to speak and supported the inclusive concept but with the rider that men’s health was more than pelvic health. More men die from cardiovascular disease than incontinence. More people suffer from male mental health issues than do from constipation. The re-titling and a pathway of education was subsequently upheld and the latter is still in development.
Despite this awkward beginning, male physios in Australia and elsewhere have been moving into men’s and pelvic health. I have been delivering education in this area for five years along with colleagues Peter Dornan, Jo Milios and Stuart Baptist. We have educated around 200 physios in Australia under the Mastering the Martians brand, and many participants were male.
I arrived from elite level sports physiotherapy including four Olympic team representations. So did Peter Dornan, an ex-Wallaby physio. Other male physios have applied their musculoskeletal and orthopaedic or neurological skills to men’s health. It is typically a career extension where we take one set of skills and extend them into a new scope of practice.
Men’s Health Physiotherapy is an ideal vehicle for male physios to extend their role into a new market – men who are experiencing muscle dysfunction, pain and disability following a diagnosis of prostate cancer and perhaps treatment as well.
If you are a male physio I strongly recommend you undertake an introductory course with an experienced practitioner to see if it is a good fit for your skills, workplace and career path.
You can start with me in the UK during September 2019 at two Nutting Out Men’s Health Physiotherapy events. Each of these costs only £140 for a one day event.
Glastonbury, Somerset, September 21 2019 – click here for more info or to register
London, St Georges Hospital, Sept 28, 2019 – click here for more info or to register