The Frustrating Thing About Erectile Dysfunction Treatment

Erectile dysfunction affects a very significant proportion of men. It is estimated that by the time we reach our mid-50s almost half of us men experience erectile dysfunction at some time. This places a very significant psychological burden on the individual, extreme stress on relationships, and worse still, erectile dysfunction is associated with poor cardiovascular health. When we take all of this into account, it becomes a parent that erectile dysfunction is no joke.

When we seek treatment for significant health issues, it is only natural that we require a significant amount of help. Yet, arguably medicine has struggled to come to terms with a credible treatment plan for erectile dysfunction. 

The mainstay of erectile dysfunction treatment at the doctor’s office is drugs. And there is no question drugs for erectile dysfunction can be extremely helpful for symptom relief, but they definitely do not resolve the underlying issue. Furthermore, drugs like Viagra and Cialis do not work for all men, and those who they do work for often find that the side effects are really not worth the temporary benefits offered by these erectile dysfunction drug therapies.

The key to effectively treating most health issues is to identify and relieve their underlying causes. In the case of something like tooth decay this obviously involves reducing sugar and observing better dental hygiene practices. Which is way better than just getting fillings every time things go wrong. 

When it comes to erectile dysfunction, men are seldom offered equivalent solutions to its underlying problems when they seek help from their doctors. This is not necessarily the family doctors’ fault as they do not have the luxury of specialising in individual problems like erectile dysfunction. So it’s not about finger-pointing; it is, however, about men receiving real help for real health problems. 

This absence of real care that targets the real underlying issues behind erectile dysfunction is a recipe for frustration. Frustration is just another layer of the suffering that we can see being caused by this serious health condition. 

The good news is that the frustration of seeking help from medical generalists can be relieved by speaking to specialists. And it is an emerging fact that physiotherapists are ideally placed to offer specialist care for erectile dysfunction. 

The reason physiotherapists are ideally placed to treat many erectile dysfunction cases is threefold.

Firstly a major underlying cause of erectile dysfunction is poor cardiovascular health, which means that exercise and fitness are major keys to treating erectile dysfunction in a holistic way. 

Secondly, a significant portion of all erectile dysfunction is caused by weakness in the muscles that help to maintain erection. This means that part of the solution to erectile dysfunction is exercise prescription a physiotherapy job. 

Thirdly, some of the treatments that show the most promise in the modern treatment of erectile dysfunction happen to be in the hands of physiotherapists already, like Shockwave Therapy.

These understandings reveal the fact that we may be better off seeking help from the right physiotherapist for erectile dysfunction than we are seeking help from the right doctor. It also reveals the fact that there is a trifecta of treatment approaches that can relieve erectile dysfunction by targeting its underlying causes.

Cardiovascular Fitness & Erectile Dysfunction 

As we alluded to before, there is a substantial amount of data that shows erectile dysfunction correlates strongly with poor cardiovascular health. This means that erectile dysfunction sufferers need help Getting fit.

If you think of the blood that enters the penis during a healthy erection as water coming out of a tap, strength within the cardiovascular system in general is the main pressure. If you have low mains pressure, very little water will come out of the tap. If you have good mains pressure a healthy amount of water will come out of the tap. The ‘mains pressure’ in this instance is a healthy heart and healthy cardiovascular system. So, seeking advice on how to get fit from your physiotherapist or personal trainer is an excellent step to take if you are seeking to treat erectile dysfunction rather than just relieve symptoms.

Pelvic Floor Strength & Erectile Dysfunction

When blood enters the penis during periods of arousal, a muscle called the ischiocavernosus contracts to prevent backflow of blood. In other words, the muscle traps blood inside the penis so that it can fill up and stay full. This

 is very exciting news because it means that by strengthening the ischiocavernosus muscle, you can actually increase your ability to maintain a healthy erection. Working with a physiotherapist who can teach you how to contract these muscles is, therefore, a vital step towards treating the underlying cause of erectile dysfunction.

Penile Blood Flow & Shockwave Therapy 

The third physical issue which is known to underpin erectile dysfunction is a lack of strength and health in the blood vessels of the penis itself. In the main pressure/plumbing metaphor, healthy penile blood flow is like having a robust structure within the tap itself; which allows water to flow through properly. 

 Shockwave therapy,  which is emerging as an excellent treatment for many erectile dysfunction,  triggers the growth of new blood vessels in the penis. This means that Shockwave therapy is an excellent way to target erectile dysfunction for those seeking to work at the causal level rather than just symptom relief. 

Shockwave therapy also heals soft tissue in the body and is, therefore, a very common physiotherapy treatment. Therefore, physiotherapists, in addition to having the correct knowledge needed to resolve erectile dysfunction, also have the correct equipment to treat it.

The Good News 

The fantastic news is that having erectile dysfunction doesn’t mean your dick is broken. And it doesn’t mean that you’re broken. Far from it. If you can understand that being unfit and lacking conditioning just means that there’s some work to do on strengthening the body, then we should be able to understand the same principles apply to erectile dysfunction. 

Approaching erectile dysfunction this way is the key to resolving not only the condition itself but also the frustration that comes from receiving treatments that only target the symptoms rather than the underlying problem.

The Only Bad News 

There is one piece of the puzzle your physio can’t help you with. 

There is an area where help may be required for someone other than a physiotherapist. And that is the area of psychology. There is a deep well of data that has shown stress, and emotional issues are major factors in many erectile dysfunction cases. Furthermore, it is common knowledge that alcohol consumption can be a serious cause of erectile dysfunction.

 If you need to address issues with stress and/or you need to drink less, it could well be that you need help with these things which is not a physiotherapist’s job. 

Seeking help from the right therapist, life coach, or counselor could therefore be an extremely valuable way to approach dysfunction in addition to the physiotherapy approaches outlined in this blog.

However, the elephant in this room is the obvious fact that as men, we are not always great at seeking this type of help.

Erectile dysfunction, stress and addiction to substances like alcohol (or at least overreliance on them) are all yet more calls for us to push outside our comfort zones and seek help. Seeking help and admitting that we have our issues is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength. 

The more honest, open and vulnerable we are willing to be about the things that affect us as men, more likely it is that we will come to terms with them and heal whatever the wounds are that are behind our unhappiness. So it is at least worth considering seeking this type of help if you are suffering from erectile dysfunction and you know that your stress and/or alcohol levels are elevated.

In Closing 

We are entering a world where people are less inclined to accept symptom relief for the things that significantly affect our lives. More and more men are demanding treatment that fixes their problems. This is a great thing. And the sooner that we apply these principles to the treatment of erectile dysfunction, the less misery and suffering we will experience personally and in our intimate relationships. This has to be a good thing. We don’t need to settle for feeling inadequate or relying on nasty drugs to heal our sex lives, this also has to be a good thing. 

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