Sperling Prostate Center

Tied Up Like a Pretzel Over Prostate Health? Try Yoga!

A January 2024 journal article begins, “Yoga is widely used as a therapeutic approach to enhance physical and mental well-being, addressing various biophysiological issues.”[i] It may sound rather generic, but the paper is actually about prostate health. Its authors call for new clinical studies on how yoga may help men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS).

Neither BPH nor LUTS is life-threatening, but let’s face it. It’s no fun getting up to pee in the middle of the night, or to have problems like the inability to completely empty your bladder, or a urinary tract infection (UTI) that feels like you’re peeing razor blades. In fact, repeat UTIs have been linked with higher risk for prostate cancer (PCa)—a disease that can become dangerous! On the other hand, there’s evidence that yoga has benefits for PCa patients. So, what about BPH and LUTS? Maybe yoga can help.

What does yoga look like? A guru seated in the lotus pose? A disciple twisted into a pretzel-like knot? Schools of yoga range from relaxed to warrior-like intensity, but all have numerous benefits, including cardiovascular, anti-inflammatory, musculoskeletal, stress management/serenity, etc.

Yoga, BPH and LUTS

The question is, can yoga help BPH and LUTS, each of which presents with a variety of inconvenient and uncomfortable urinary symptoms? There is background research that offers promising clues:

In urology the positive effects of yoga programs have been evaluated in prostate cancer treatment with beneficial effects on quality of life and urinary incontinence after radical prostatectomy. As well some studies have evaluated the role of YOGA in chronic pelvic pain highlighting a beneficial effect in terms of pain reduction … and improved quality of life (+70% improvement).[ii]

Since the body is an intricate structure of interrelated systems, key components like the cardiovascular, hormonal, metabolic, and immune systems influence the wellness of individual organs and glands. In addition, we now know that the gut microbiome (the bacteria balance in your intestines) has implications for just about everything from the brain to the prostate.

Thus, it stands to reason that a program that directly and indirectly influences physical, mental and emotional function will also have a bearing on urologic wellness. The authors cite studies in which participants practiced yoga while also consuming a vegan diet, during which “good bacteria” flourished in their intestinal biome. They also refer to research with participants suffering from pelvic/bladder pain syndrome in which a practice of mindfulness or meditation such as many schools of yoga incorporate actually reduced pain. Furthermore, in at least one study, the microbiome in urine increased in healthy diversity.

The 2024 paper got media attention. According to a January 19, 2024 news article, “Yoga has impacted numerous pathophysiological pathways involved in LUTS/BPH development. The EAU [European Urologic Association] recommendations advocate lifestyle changes for individuals with moderate LUTS, such as limiting fluid consumption, avoiding coffee and alcohol, using distraction tactics, relieving constipation, engaging in physical exercise, and bladder retraining. However, further research could assess the benefits of yoga routines in this aspect and its combination with medical care.”[iii]

At The Sperling Prostate Center, our team members are dedicated supporters of men’s wellbeing at every level. Given the many benefits of yoga, supporting prostate health can only make it more attractive. I hope that this blog gives you reason to consider signing up for a class. And remember, always consult with your primary care physician before taking on a new physical program.

NOTE: This content is solely for purposes of information and does not substitute for diagnostic or medical advice. Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing pelvic pain, or have any other health concerns or questions of a personal medical nature.

[i] Lombardo R, Russo GI, Romagnoli M, Tema G et al. Yoga, benign prostatic hyperplasia and lower urinary tract symptoms: a new path for clinical trials. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2024 Jan 17.
[ii] Ibid.
[iii] Paharia, PJ. “Can yoga improve your prostate health?” News Medical Sciences, Jan. 19, 2024. https://www.news medical.net/news/20240119/Can-yoga-improve-your-prostate-health.aspx


About Dr. Dan Sperling

Dan Sperling, MD, DABR, is a board certified radiologist who is globally recognized as a leader in multiparametric MRI for the detection and diagnosis of a range of disease conditions. As Medical Director of the Sperling Prostate Center, Sperling Medical Group and Sperling Neurosurgery Associates, he and his team are on the leading edge of significant change in medical practice. He is the co-author of the new patient book Redefining Prostate Cancer, and is a contributing author on over 25 published studies. For more information, contact the Sperling Prostate Center.

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