Movember and Osteopathy
As the month of November draws to a close, the fabulous displays of manliness and mo’ pride impress us more every day. Everything from the David Suzuki to the Charlie Chaplin to the Mark Twain to the… A.T. Still? Yes, even the founder of Osteopathy had some exceptional facial hair.
Whatever the shape of your ‘stache, we give a big thank you to all the men and women who raised funds around the world in support of prostate cancer research this month. We salute your MO-mentous achievements, even if the sides didn’t quite grow in the way you wanted them to.
On November the 9th the OOA was on “Finding your Bliss” discussing prostate cancer and sharing how Osteopathy can assist in the prevention of prostate issues. To understand how we can help, let’s have an in-depth look at the anatomy of the prostate gland.
Anatomy of the Prostate Gland
The Encyclopedia Britannica Online describes the prostate as a male reproductive organ that surrounds the urethra, and serves as a passage for both urine and semen.
Henry Gray defined the prostate as a firm partly glandular and partly muscular body. He landmarks were within the pelvic cavity above the superior fascia of the urogenital diaphragm and in front of the rectum. The arteries supplying the prostate arise from the pudendal, inferior vesical, and middle hemorrhoidal. The prostates veins receive from the dorsal vein of the penis, merge to become a plexus surrounding the gland and then empty into the hypogastric veins.
Lymphatic drainage occurs in the internal iliac lymph node. Sympathetic innervation is supplied by the superior lumbar and hypogastric nerves. These nerves are responsible for the speed of contraction during ejaculation. The parasympathetic innervation is derived from the pelvic splanchnic and inferior hypogastric plexus.
In The Practice of Osteopathy, McConnell and Teall propose the secretory branches of the prostate gland are from the sacral nerves. Its sensory contribution is located at the tenth, eleventh (twelfth) dorsal, first, second and third sacral as well as the fifth lumbar.
Its glandular function is to produce seminal fluid that contains fructose (energy for the sperm), amino acids, ascorbic acids and prostaglandins.
The Hypothalamus constantly monitors blood levels of testosterone. When there are inadequate levels it releases GnRH(gonadotropin releasing hormone) and LHRH (Luteinizing hormone releasing hormone) to stimulate the pituitary. Upon retrieval of this information the Pituitary releases both Gn (gonadotropin) and/or LH (Luteinizing hormone). The production of these two hormones affects the testes and produces increase blood testosterone levels. Testosterone is known for stimulating the growth of the prostrate gland. Testosterone will also power the growth of cancerous tissue because it cannot differentiate between normal tissue and abnormal.
This is the most common cancer among men especially in men over 40. Symptoms include altered urination, blood or white blood cells in the urine, pain during ejaculation as well in the lower back or pelvis. Adenocarcinoma is the most common form of prostate tumors. Prostate cancer can spread to other areas of the pelvic girdle including the seminal vesicles, rectum and bladder via the bodies extensive lymphatic system.
Treatment for the pelvic girdle and Prostate Gland
In the Philosophy of Osteopathy, Dr Still discusses the causes of abnormal growths below the diaphragm. Since the prostate is a structure below the diaphragm we must explore all contributing structures to the enlargement of the gland and the abnormal proliferation of cells in this area. Dr. Sill instructs that the eleventh and twelfth rib may be subject to abnormal bearings, pointing downward near the ilio-lumbar articulation. In this position, he points out that they will draw the diaphragm downwards partially or fully occluding the vena cava at the fourth lumbar. Due to this blockage in blood flow there will be a stagnation of fluids in all organs and glands found below the diaphragm. He also states that this will be the onset of all abnormal growths and tumors of the abdomen and pelvic girdle.
He continues by educating about the failure to free action of the blood in the abdominal cavity will produce numerous visceral diseases including tumefactions. He points the osteopathic practitioner to explore the mechanics of the innominates as well as the sacrum. If the innominate bones are found to have altered mechanics with the sacrum an injury to the sacral system of blood and nerves will be produced leading to congestion, inflammation and a crippling condition to the surrounding nerves.
In Osteopathy: Research and Practice, Dr. Still clearly announces that in all the cases of enlarged prostate that he ever treated, he found the ischia to be too close together. His treatment was to restore normal articulation of the ischia with the sacrum.
The prostate gland has many functions including accessary reproductive concerns as well as the control valve from urine flow.
It also can be intimately involved with the endocrine functionality. This gland has significant influence of the neuro-endocrine immunological process which are highly entangled in our bodies.
With the prostate being so key to the male body’s function as a whole, it’s important to keep it healthy and functional, and Osteopathy can help!
1. Gray, Henry. Anatomy of the Human Body. 1918. http://www.bartleby.com/107/
8. Still, A.T. The Philosophy of Osteopathy. 1899. Bibliolife. Kirksville, MO.
9. Still, A.T. Osteopathy: Research and Practice. 1910. Bibliolife. Kirksville, MO.