The work you do can have an impact on your risk of developing prostatitis. Based on information from the Urology Specialists of the Carolinas, the professions with the highest risk of prostatitis tend to be blue-collar and involve manual labor.
What are risk factors for prostatitis?
Prostatitis is a benign inflammatory condition of the prostate gland that most commonly develops in men younger than 50. Risk factors include history of bladder or urethral infection, use of a catheter, pelvic trauma (e.g., sports injury), dehydration, HIV/AIDS, stress, presence of benign prostatic hyperplasia, unprotected sexual intercourse, and genetics. Under the category of pelvic trauma, there are some professions that involve or are characterized by repetitive pressure or trauma to the pelvic region and/or genitals that could contribute to the development of this prostate disorder.
Which professions are at highest risk of prostatitis?
Professions associated with a greater risk of developing prostatitis include ones with these three types of activity:
- Those that involve heavy lifting, such as package delivery personnel, warehouse workers, construction workers, dock workers, furniture and appliance movers, lumber yard workers, trash handlers, and airport luggage handlers
- Those that cause vibration of the pelvic region, such as long-distance truck drivers, heavy equipment construction workers (e.g., hydraulic jack workers), farmers (riding tractors and combines), forklift drivers
- Those that involve prolonged pressure or stress on the prostate gland, such as men who ride bicycles, motorcycles, riding lawnmowers, or horses for a living
How can men help prevent prostatitis?
Men who work in any of these or similar professions can take precautions against developing prostatitis.
Urinate often. Empty your bladder regularly, especially if you are involved in heavy lifting. If your bladder is full and you are lifting heavy objects, the urine can cause pressure against the prostate, which may trigger a bacterial infection.
See a physiotherapist. A physiotherapist who is experienced and trained in myofascial release of the pelvic floor muscles can help with both prevention and treatment of prostatitis. Note that myofascial release is not the same as Kegel exercises, which can actually make prostatitis worse.
Get a pro-prostate seat. If your job involves sitting for long periods of time, then you might want to check out prostate cushions, which can be used in cars, trucks, and other vehicles. Such cushions are ergonomically designed to relieve pressure on the prostate. Similarly, there are bicycle and motorcycle seats specially designed to relieve pressure on the prostate.
Eat a prostate-friendly diet. A healthy prostate is less likely to become inflamed. Choose organic foods and a prostate friendly diet whenever possible, focus on fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, plant-sourced protein, omega-3 fatty acids (cold water fish), wheat-free, and green tea.
Exercise regularly. Daily physical activity helps prevent inflammation, promotes optimal blood flow, and stimulates lymph circulation, which reduces risk of developing infections.
Hydrate often. Dehydration can result in urinary tract infections, which is a risk factor for prostatitis. Be especially aware of getting sufficient fluids if you exercise vigorously and/or in high temperatures.
Manage stress. Chronic stress can weaken the immune system and make you more susceptible to disease. Make it a habit to practice stress management techniques (e.g., deep breathing, yoga, progressive relaxation, meditation) daily.
Practice safe sex. Several sexually transmitted diseases are associated with bacterial prostatitis, so be sure to practice safe sex.
Maintain good hygiene. Keeping the penis and pelvic area clean helps prevent infection.
Notice urinary infections. See a physician immediately if you experience symptoms of urinary tract infection, such as burning when urinating, urinary frequency and urgency, cloudy or strong smelling urine.
Supplement your prostate. Enhance your other efforts to maintain a healthy prostate by taking a supplement specially formulated to promote and support prostate health.