Chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CPPS) is the most common form of prostatitis, yet not many clinicians know how to treat it. Acupuncture for Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome is very effective.
A recent research study is also supporting the use of electroacupuncture to relieve chronic pelvic pain in men (1).
Electroacupuncture and Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome
Electroacupuncture is when electric stimulation is attached to the acupuncture needles. It is generally used for pain relief.
This is the first randomized study to show that electro-acupuncture reduces pain in men with CPPS. They used only six standard acupuncture points on the sacrum and buttock. There was also a placebo acupuncture group, in which the patients received acupuncture at non-acupuncture points. Lastly, they had a group that was instructed in relaxation techniques and used a sitz bath.
After 3 weeks the men with electro-acupuncture experienced a greater relief than the other two groups. After 6 weeks, the pain was nearly cut in half. There was also a reduction in prostaglandin E, an inflammatory marker, in the electroacupuncture group alone.
Beyond the research
This is great news for men with CPPS. These results support the use of acupuncture for relieving pain with CPPS. Hopefully, this will encourage men with CPPS to find help through acupuncture.
As much of great medical research does, this study provides valuable answers as well as more questions.
I would like to see researchers go further into examining the acupuncture methodology to see if they can produce more powerful results. For example, I believe that the best acupuncture is done through individualized diagnosis and treatment which addresses the underlying imbalance causing the pain. This type of treatment is based in Chinese medicine theory and practice. It will reduce inflammation and muscle spasm, as well as correct the imbalance that is causing the disease. This could be done through a study that includes an individualized treatment group.
Second, I would like to see a study address questions of how the acupuncture can best reduce the pain. Should the electro-acupunture be set at 4HZ, 100 HZ, 200HZ, or a mixed pattern? What is the optimal time dosage? Another great question is to look into if the length of the needle affects the outcomes.
Through these type of question, we can search to find the optimal method that not only reduces pain, but eliminates the pain totally.
1. Lee SH, Lee BC.Electroacupuncture relieves pain in men with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome: three-arm randomized trial. Urology. 2009 May;73(5):1036-41.