Acupuncture Chronic Pelvic Pain| Alban Acupuncture
Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome
Acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome to relieve pain, improve sexual function, and decrease urinary problems.
Acupuncture works to relieve pain in CP/CPPS by reducing inflammation, improving hormone levels, increasing circulation, and stimulating the release of your body’s natural pain relieving chemicals.
In addition to extensive clinical experience with acupuncture, many studies have also shown that acupuncture is a powerful treatment to relieve pain in men with CP/CPPS.
In this article I will share with you how acupuncture treats CP/CPPS, review the clinical research showing acupuncture’s effectiveness, and explain how I create personalized treatments for each patient.
Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome Symptoms
Men with Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome (CPPS), or Chronic Prostatitis Category III, suffer from pelvic pain, painful, frequent, urgent, or difficult urination, as well as sexual dysfunction. The pain can be intense or dull and is generally located on the pelvic floor, in the genitals, lower back, or the lower abdomen. These symptoms can be severe and affect all aspects of your life, resulting in depression, lost work and educational opportunities, and trouble in relationships.
Acupuncture: An Ancient Treatment for CP/CPPS
Acupuncture provide a holistic approach to healing and are effective treatments to relieve the pain, improve sexual function, and decrease urinary problems associated with Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome. Acupuncture is a natural, effective, and safe treatment.
In fact, Chinese medicine’s 2000 years of history could possibly make it the most used treatment for Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome of all time. In one of Chinese medicine’s earliest text called Elementary Questions, TCM has described the diagnosis and treatment many syndromes characterized by painful, frequent, and urgent urination with pain and distention of the lower abdomen and pelvis (3).
Acupuncture works by rebalancing energy flow through the meridians. Qi is the body’s energy that is required for daily living. It circulates in the channels. Stress, inflammation, can cause the qi to slow down and get stuck. This is called stagnation which leads to pain. Acupuncture relieves pain by regulating the flow of qi.
Acupuncture can help to clear the congestion and stagnation in the pelvic channels and increase qi flow.
Ancient doctors understood health of the human being in relation to the natural world. They saw signs of inflammation and infection such as redness, burning, and pain as imbalances caused by heat or damp heat in the body. Acupuncture targets thes imbalances to address underlying the cause of your pelvic pain.
In addition to thousands of years of clinical experience, modern research trials have shown acupuncture provides significant relief pain for men with CP/CPPS. One recent study had 400 patients who received acupuncture or placebo for 8 weeks. The acupuncture points included
- Zhongliao (BL33), Huiyang (BL35), Shenshu (BL23), and Sanyinjiao (SP6).
These acupuncture points are found in the lower back and around the sacrum.
By week 4, those who had been treated with real acupuncture saw a significant decrease in their symptoms than those who were given placebo acupuncture.
Real acupuncture produced lasting results! In a follow up at week 32, which is 24 weeks after the study concluded, there was still improvement in quality of living and pain relief.
What Causes Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome?
The exact cause of Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome is not entirely understood and probably stems from a combination of factors.
Prostatitis was originally thought to be caused by inflammation caused by a bacterial infection. But most men have symptoms without an infection. Some men have recovered from a prostate infection while others who have CPPS symptoms have never an infection at all. Additionally, some men have persistent inflammation that is detectable while others do not have any inflammation.
The condition is not only uncomfortable physically, but it also causes a significant amount of stress in one’s work, relationships, and personal life.
Many scientists and clinicians, including myself, believe that the most common and significant cause of CP/CPPS is referred pain from muscle tightness and trigger points in the pelvis and back.
This is because most patients with CP/CPPS have muscle tightness in the pelvis, pelvic floor, back, abdomen, and legs. The gluteus maximus and medius, adductor magnus, illopsoas, and rectus abdomis (among others) very commonly refer pain to the pelvic floor and genitals.
How does acupuncture help treat Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome?
Acupuncture provides that holistic approach to healing. Acupuncture relieves pain, improves sexual function, and decreases urinary problems. Acupuncture also helps to relieve depression associated with Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome.
Acupuncture works to relieve CP/CPPS symptoms in many ways.
Acupuncture works to reduce pain and inflammation through regulating neural pain pathways, stimulating the release of natural pain relievers in the body, such as opioids, as well as regulating pain relieving opioid receptors.
This produces analgesic effects as well as relaxation and positive feelings in the patient. Many studies have also shown acupuncture to have a anti-inflammatory effect, reducing the circulating inflammatory hormones in the blood
Acupuncture is believed to decrease proinflammatory cytokines in the body and promote anti-inflammatory responses. It has been shown to affect multiple cytokines, including IL-10, and decrease inflammation. These changes are linked to a reduction in pain and swelling.
Additionally acupuncture promotes microcirculation, reduces oxidative stress, relieves muscle spasms, and regulates the bladder function.
Acupuncture Treatment of Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome
Traditional Chinese Medicine has a holistic approach to diagnosis and treatment, identifying specific imbalances in the body and using acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and acupressure to correct them. We will consider symptoms of pain, urinary changes, sexual dysfunction, as well as digestion, energy, sleep are all factored into identifying the cause of the issues. 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.
Chinese medicine works best as a combination therapy that includes acupuncture, tui na (acupressure), and other therapies such as cupping. Chinese herbs are also effective and may be required for certain people. Acupuncture diagnosis and treatment focuses on identifying the specific root imbalance causing the condition and tailoring the treatment for you.
During the first visit, I will complete a medical history and an in depth physical examination, which focuses on an examination of acupuncture points and trigger points in the muscles. This information creates the picture of the specific imbalance causing the problem.
Acupuncture is most effective through a treatment course. The treatment should decrease pain and urinary complaints, and improvement in sexual function. Many people find rapid relief after beginning treatment to reduce the pain and symoptoms within about a month of beginning the treatment. Generally, patients come in for acupuncture once to twice a week depending on the severity for approximately 3-4 months.
The pain and other symptoms are gradually lessened. It is like peeling off the layers of an onion until you correct the root cause of the problem. The results are usually long lasting and patents have few symptoms.
Is Acupuncture Treatment Safe?
Yes, acupuncture is very safe treatment for Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome. All side effects are rare. The most common side effects as minor bruising, soreness on the affected muscles, and occasional light headedness when getting up from the table. Acupuncture is very relaxing. Patients will often take a nap or go into a very relaxed medative state during the treatment.
If you have questions about acupuncture or would like to make an appointment, please call us at 212-319-5757 or make your appointment online.