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Acupuncture Improves Relief of Chronic Prostatitis and Pelvic Pain Syndrome, Study Reveals

A study has revealed that 20 sessions of acupuncture over 8 weeks lead to greater improvements in symptoms of moderate-to-severe chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS), with the long-lasting effects 24 weeks following treatment unlike with the sham therapy.

Acupuncture Improves Relief of Chronic Prostatitis and Pelvic Pain Syndrome, Study Reveals
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What Is Chronic Prostatitis?

Prostatitis is defined as the swelling and inflammation of the prostate gland – which is the walnut-sized gland situated directly below the bladder in men. The prostate gland is the gland responsible for producing fluid (semen) that nourishes and transports sperm.

Prostatitis is a medical condition among men that often causes painful or difficult urination. Other symptoms of prostatitis include pain in the groin, pelvic area or genitals, and sometimes it has flu-like symptoms.

If a prostatitis is caused by bacterial infection, it can generally be treated with antibiotics. Prostatitis affects men of all ages; however, it is more prevalent in men in their 50’s.

This medical condition, depending on the underlying cause, will come on gradually or suddenly. Although prostatitis might improve quickly on its own or with treatment such as antibiotics. There are some types of prostatitis that will last for months or will be recurring known as chronic prostatitis.

What Is Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome?

Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome (CPPS) is a health condition which is characterized by an ongoing pain in the pelvic region. The pain experienced will vary from person to person, severity level (mild or severe), type (dull or sharp), and longevity (constant or intermittent). CPPS-related pain may also spread to the buttocks, lower back, and thighs.

A multicenter, randomized, sham-controlled trial was facilitated in 10 tertiary hospitals in China. There was a total of 440 men with moderate-to-severe CP/CPPS were randomly designated to either 20 sessions of acupuncture or sham therapy over an 8-week period, with 24-week follow-up after the treatment.

The number of responders or participants who attained a clinically significant reduction of at least 6 points from baseline, was the primary endpoint, on the National Institutes of Health Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index at weeks 8 and 32. Establishing of sustained efficacy has required the between-group difference to be statistically significant at both time points.

Responders at week 8 were 60.6% in the acupuncture group and 36.8% were in the sham therapy group. During week 32, responders were 61.5%  in the acupuncture while 38.3% in the sham groups.

There were 20 or 9.1% adverse effects that were reported in the acupuncture group and 14 adverse events were reported in the sham therapy group. However, there were no serious adverse events were reported during the follow-through period.

Researchers said that the study was limited by sham therapy that might have had certain physiologic effects in participants.


Source: Ann Intern Med 2021;doi:10.7326/M21-1814

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