by Andrew Pacholyk MS L.Ac ~
Testicular pain is a fairly common condition treated by urologists. Frequent causes include infection of the testicle (orchitis) or epididymis (epididymitis), post surgical pain, trauma, tumors, hernia, torsion (twisting of the testicle), varicocele, hydrocele or spermatocele.
In sexually active men, the most common cause of an infection of the epididymis is a sexually transmitted disease such as gonorrhea or chlamydia. Older and younger men may also get epididymitis, often because of an abnormality in the genitourinary system such as enlargement of the prostate.
Most of these conditions are easily diagnosed and treated. Occasionally the pain, even when treated appropriately becomes chronic. Many patients with chronic testicular pain, after ruling out the above, seem to find no cause to their pain. This is the pain I will be addressing.
Self exams of the testicles are also an effective way of getting to know this area of your body and detecting testicular cancer at an early and very curable stage. While it can strike at any age, testicular cancer is the most common form of cancer for men aged 15 to 34. Checking yourself out every month is important as any significant change in the size, shape, or weight of your testicles could be a sign that you should see a physician. If you find a lump on your testicle, see a doctor, preferably a urologist, right away. The abnormality may not be cancer, it may just be an infection. Waiting and hoping will not fix anything.
Please note that free floating lumps in the scrotum that are not attached in any way to a testicle are not testicular cancer.
All men should check their testicles for abnormalities about once a month, and older men should continue to occasionally do so. The shower or bathtub is a good place for this because warm water relaxes both the scrotum and the man. Men become very anxious when they feel pain in their testicles. Self examination should become a ritual as brushing your teeth.
To test, roll each testicle between the thumb and first two fingers of each hand and look for a lump, or nodule, that feels firm but is painless when pressed. A visual exam in front of a mirror is another way to look for abnormalities, and allows you to more easily locate all of the various components that should be checked.
Some men mistakenly discount the possibility that a problem exists because their testicles don’t hurt. Tenderness, too, can indicate a problem, and so can swelling of a testicle. Neither of these symptoms should cause initial alarm, however, because there are many possibilities.
Exercises for Testicular Pain
Musculoskeletal problems are one of the biggest conditions overlooked by many physicians. Once the above situations have been ruled out and you still have pain, it is time to try these exercises. They should be done at least 3 times a day for two weeks:
Lying on your side knees bent and lined up on top of each other about level with your hips. Arms are straight out in front of you finger tips touching. You may want to place a small pillow under your head so that the neck is aligned with your spine.
Move the top hand and top leg slightly forward as you misalign the knees and hands about an inch, then pull them back to starting position. Now, do the same move with the top arm and leg but pull them back slightly about an inch, then realign the knees and fingertips. Keep these stretches constantly moving, never static. The stretch is very subtle but very effective in stretching the inner thigh muscles. Repeat 12-15 times. Repeat on the other side. Remember to always keep the hands and knees touching.
Repeat the above exercise in position and manner but as a variation, this time push the knee forward but draw the fingers back along the arm so that you are getting an oppositional twist between the upper and lower torso. The stretch is very subtle but very effective in stretching the inner thigh muscles. Repeat 12-15 times. Repeat on the other side. Remember to always keep the hands and knees touching.
Lying on the floor, you may want to lie close to the wall with your buttocks right up next to the wall. Straighten your legs up along the wall with ankles together. Now slowly open your legs as wide as they can to get a very effective stretch then bring them right back together. Keep the motion of the legs moving. Keep these stretches constantly moving, never static. Repeat 12-15 times. Do not use the wall to rest your legs. Keep the legs slightly away from touching the wall.
Using a bed or chair for support and a blanket for your knee, kneel down on both knees. with your left foot (the bed or chair is on your right for support), step the left foot out into a lunge so that you are getting a good stretch from the left foot to the opposite right knee that is on the floor. Now push your hips toward the left leg, place both hands on the left knee as you push the hips forward. You should get an incredible stretch in the right side of the groin. As you push your hips forward as far as you can get a great stretch, come back to starting position by lining your hips back up. Keep the left foot where it is and then lunge back again. Keep the motion of the legs moving. Keep these stretches constantly moving, never static. Repeat 12-15 times.Repeat on the other side.
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