There are many disorders that have their origin in the region of the floor of the pelvis - and this applies both to men as well as women. From the 40th to 50th year of age on, women who have already had several births can increasingly suffer from so-called stress incontinence. This disorder is due to anatomical changes and an increasing weakness of the connective tissue of the closure apparatus of the urinary bladder, with the result that a simple sneeze or cough, the lifting of a heavy weight, or even sports activities may lead to an involuntary passage of urine. The amount of urine lost in this way can vary from just a few drops a day, all the way to the complete voiding of the bladder and the incapacity of the bladder to retain urine at all.
Men can also be affected by stress incontinence. In many cases this is due to surgical operations such as radical prostatectomy for the treatment of prostate tumour or transurethral prostate resection in the case of a benign enlargement of the prostate. Injuries of the sphincter apparatus and changes in the anatomical structures in the male pelvis as sequelae of such operational procedures may result in a loss of continence.
Chronic prostatitis is a widespread disorder, predominantly affecting men between 30 and 50 years of age. In the exact sense of the word, prostatitis describes an infection of the prostate gland. In the medical world the term has evolved to include a broader range of disorders, and now "prostatitis" has become a collective term for complaints in the urogenital system and in the area of the pelvic floor and rectum.
In many cases the symptoms cannot be causally explained by an inflammation of the prostate or conclusively distinguished by differential diagnosis. When the prostate is normally sized or only slightly enlarged, men may experience pain prior to, during, or after urinating. Frequently victims report feeling as if they have a foreign body in them, or complain of indistinctly characterizable pain in the pelvic region.
For many years now, the so-called extracorporeal magnetic innervation method (ExMI) has proven its worth as an extremely gentle and complication-low form of therapy. Since 1998, this ExMI therapy method has been used with substantial success in the USA for the treatment of dysfunctions of the lower urinary tract, in particular for the management of symptoms of the hyperactive bladder type with urge incontinence, stress incontinence, or mixed-type incontinence.
We have just recently started to use this method at the Clinic for Prostate Therapy. The NeoControl Therapy System comprises a treatment chair on which the patient sits relaxed in his/her everyday clothes and is treated with electromagnetic impulses through the seat of the chair. In this way the muscle fibres of the pelvic floor are stimulated and correspondingly exercised actively and passively. This restores to the muscles the capacity to recontract; the incontinence disappears.
The procedure is pain-free and involves virtually no risks or side-effects whatsoever. Only patients with a cardiac pacemaker and pregnant women are excluded from this form of therapy. The treatment should extend over a period of six to ten weeks, with two to three sessions each week. Each session lasts about 30 minutes, including a short ten-minute break. The therapy can be supported by parallel conventional pelvic-floor physiotherapy training.
The ExMI method is based on Faraday's principle of magnetic induction, in which a pulsating magnetic field is generated. Just like electrotherapy, it exerts its effect by stimulating impulses of contraction and relaxation, albeit with just one difference: not the muscle cells, but instead the nerve cells are stimulated. When the patient, fully clothed, sits down on the treatment chair, the specially constructed therapy head installed in the base of the chair focusses the magnetic impulses. The magnetic waves then penetrate the pelvic floor to a depth of approximately eight centimetres and locally stimulate the muscles there by activating the nerves.
With each impulse the muscles contract and relax in a way that can be felt by the patient, with the contractions corresponding to the impulse frequency of the therapy head.
The therapy chair is controlled by means of an external control unit.