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Chronic prostatitis sounds like it is a chronic bacterial infection of the prostate. But in fact most men that have chronic prostatitis symptoms do not have any bacteriaal infection. This is called Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome (CPPS) and is classified as Chronic Prostatitis Category III.   CPPS is the most common form of chronic prostatitis.

If you have Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome then you can suffer from generalized pelvic pain, urinary problems, and sexual dysfunction. Urination can be painful, frequent, urgent, or inhibited urination. The pain can be intense or dull. It can be located on the pelvic floor, in the genitals, lower back, the lower abdomen, in the back of the legs, or other areas.  CPPS affects every aspect of your life causing depression, lost work, and difficulty in relationships.

The exact cause of Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome is not entirely understood. Of course, Chronic Bacterial Prostatitis is caused by a bacterial infection. But men with CPPS have symptoms without an infection. Some men who have CPPS symptoms have inflammation, but most in fact do not have any inflammation. It is possible that CPPS is caused by referred pain from muscle tightness throughout the pelvis and back. Contracture of smooth muscle such as the bladder may lead to the frequent and or painful urination. Emotional stress is also important. Stress causes muscles to become tight and spasm. This can cause a significant amount of pain.

Is there a treatment for CPPS?

Yes, there is. Although they are often prescribed, antibiotics are not effective because CPPS is not caused by bacteria. Manual therapies, combining both western physiology and massage and eastern theories of acupuncture and Chinese medicine, is perhaps the most powerful way to address this condition.

These holistic treatments will naturally corrects the underlying cause of the disease and provide a holistic approach to healing. Traditional Chinese Medicine works by identifying specific imbalances in the body and using acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and acupressure to correct them. Correcting the imbalance does not just treat the symptoms or mask the condition, but rather corrects the root of the problem by encouraging self-healing of the body.

Massage and trigger point stimulation helps the acupuncture to relax the muscles of the hips and pelvis. Sometimes electric stimulation is needed to help relax the muscles of the pelvis. The results of a combination treatment are long lasting. Relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises, tai ji, or yoga should also be done to relieve stress and prevent tension from returning.

Joseph Alban, L.Ac.

Joseph Alban is a New York Licensed Acupuncturist and Board Certified Herbalist providing the highest quality Acupuncture and Chinese medicine care tailored to your needs.

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  1. [...] most common form of prostatitis, yet not many clinicians know how to treat it. I have written about what chronic pelvic pain syndrome is and also how acupuncture can [...]

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