THE COMPLEXITIES OF MEN
Men’s health is a complex and rarely spoken about topic. It encompasses not just disease or absence of, but the complete state of physical, mental and social well being as experienced by men. Balance Health aims to break down the barriers that men face in managing their health care and enable men to create an environment where health is a priority, which will be passed on through the generations.
MEN LIVE SHORTER LIVES THAN WOMEN
Did you know men live on average 4-6 years less than women? Men are more likely to commit suicide, suffer from heart disease, die of cancer and have major accidents. Some of these issues are a result of the Y chromosome, such as prostate and testicular cancer, however many men’s health issues are controllable through lifestyle choices.
RISK TAKING BEHAVIOR WORSEN HEALTH OUTCOMES
From a young age males experiment with risk taking behavior more so than females. Risk taking behavior is tied in closely with a societal view of masculinity. Men will play rougher, drive faster, lift heavier and choose to wait longer seeking help if any issues arise. It is a natural progression for men to downplay or ignore health care management, and wait until a catastrophic event occurs before taking action!
THE Y CHROMOSOME – PROSTATE CANCER, ITS LEGACY, AND HOW PHYSIOTHERAPY CAN HELP
Physiotherapists at Balance Health are passionate and qualified in men’s health. In particular, they are able to work with men before and after prostate cancer surgery to maximise their recovery.
In Australia almost 400,000 men have prostate cancer. It is the most common reported cancer by men (24%). Surgical management for prostate cancer is very effective. However, has many severe, life altering, side effects that are widely unknown or talked about. Some studies show up to 90% of men still suffer with urinary incontinence one year post radical prostatectomy, and 65% experience erectile dysfunction.
PELVIC FLOOR STRENGTHENING
Often surgeons and GPs will give men advice to do their pelvic floor exercises. Unfortunately without the right guidance, they are often done incorrectly and will not be as effective in managing the condition.
To maximise your recovery following prostate surgery, the evidence shows a much faster recovery of continence when pelvic floor strengthening is begun 3 months prior to the surgery. When men undertake rehabilitation guided by a physiotherapist, the statistics are reversed, in that more than 90% of men make a full recovery at one year follow up . If you are a friend or a family member of someone who has undergone this surgery, you can help too. Ask them how they are going! Help them to seek the right advice if they are struggling.
THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH
Keep active – Inactive men are 60% more likely to suffer mental illness. Meanwhile, men who walk 5 blocks a day are 25% less likely to have a heart attack!
Eat well – Getting 5-7 serves of fruit and veg each day can help lower your risk of high cholesterol, diabetes and obesity.
Drink less alcohol - men who drink 10 drinks or more per week are twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes compared to men who drink 4-10 drinks per week.
Get regular health checks with your GP especially over the age of 50.
Get Social – Check out some of the groups on Phillip Island.
There are regular meetings at the Men’s shed held at the Phillip Island RSL on Tuesdays and Thursdays and a Men’s Breakfast is run regularly on Friday mornings at 7am. There are many other great initiatives to get involved in around Phillip Island.
Change the construct of masculinity so our children and those to follow will have a new normality. Make your health a priority and you won't regret it!
DON'T SUFFER IN SILENCE! Seek help if you need it.
What should I bring/wear to my first appointment?Bring any relevant scans, X-rays, CT's or MRI, or any other Medical information that you think may be important. Make sure you wear loose comfortable clothes that will allow you to move around easily.
Do I need a referral to see a Physiotherapist?No. You can make an appointment directly without a referral. A referral is generally not required to see an physiotherapist as a private patient. All WorkSafe and TAC clients can make an appointment without a referral, however, they must have an approved claim number for entitlement to physiotherapy services. The only time you will need a referral is if you wish to consult a physiotherapist under Medicare’s Enhanced Primary Care program or through Veterans' Affairs. A GP must assess your eligibility and complete a specific referral for Medicare or DVA funded Physiotherapy.
Do you do dry needling?Kristine & Casey are both qualified in dry needling. Wondering what dry needling is? Read all about it here in our educational article.
Is Physiotherapy covered by Private Health Insurance?Yes. Private health funds provide varying levels of cover for Physiotherapy. Please contact your health fund for details of your entitled benefits.
Is Physiotherapy covered by Medicare?If you have had pain for longer than expected you can visit your doctor and request a Medicare plan referral. If you doctor deems you eligible they may print and fill out the Medicare Care Plan Referral form. For more information about eligability you can download this PDF. Please keep in mind that medicare rebates do NOT cover the full costs of treatment. You will be required to pay for the appointment in full. We complete the Medicare claim on your behalf and you will receive the rebate for your appointment within 48 hours.
Does Balance Health accept TAC, Workcover and DVA patients?Yes! Additionally, TAC & DVA patients are bulk-billed, Worksafe patients may be required to pay a gap fee.