Chronic Prostatitis (CP) and Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome (CPPS) are historically difficult conditions to treat. Western medicine has focused primarily on the infectious/inflammatory cause and has treated accordingly so with limited value. Antibiotics, alpha blockers and anti-inflammatories have not yielded the results that patients and practitioners had hoped for. Could Low Intensity Shock Wave (LiSW) Therapy be the answer?
Research into CP and CPPS is finally starting to look beyond the prostate as the cause of these conditions with some promising results. One of the more recent approaches to the treatment of CP and CPPS has been LiSW Therapy. Low Intensity Shock Wave Therapy was introduced in the 80’s as a new treatment for kidney stones. Since then it has been used for joint complaints, heart patients and fat reduction to name a few. More recently LiSW Therapy has been used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction with encouraging results (here, here)
The treatment involves delivering acoustic waves to a particular body part or organ via a specially designed probe. These acoustic waves result in a plethora of biological reactions including the growth and improvement of blood supply and healing potential. It is considered to be a relatively safe and non-invasive treatment option for a range of health and medical conditions.
Daniel Shoskes et al released a very interesting paper earlier this year (here) on the treatment of CP and CPPS using LiSW Therapy. The study was relatively small and further research is required to validate the results. A total of 14 men who had been diagnosed with CP/CPPS for at least 6 months were enrolled in the study. They each received weekly LiSW Therapy shocks to either side of the perineum.
Patients reported a drop in pain and quality of life scores, but not urinary symptoms using the National Institute of Health – Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index (NIH-CPSI (here). Using a General Response Assessment (GRA) ranging from 1 (significantly improved) to 5 (significantly worse) 7 patients said they were significantly improved, 2 were somewhat improved and 5 were unchanged.
Overall there is some potential for the positive outcomes in patients suffering with CP and CPPS when using Low Intensity Shock Wave Therapy. Further studies need to take place and a greater emphasis on specific symptoms should take precedent. Also, the follow up times should be considered here. The results showed promise at 1 month post treatment, a longer follow up period must be included to illustrate the long term benefits of LiSW Therapy in the treatment of CP and CPPS.
Karl Monahan is the owner of The Pelvic Pain Clinic, London. He has been successfully treating male pelvic pain since 2009. His depth of knowledge and personal experience on the subject provides his patients with a compassionate approach that is rarely found. His holistic approach to treating male pelvic pain addresses, lifestyle, diet, exercise, stress management and therapeutic movement. The clinics approach is very much aimed at empowering the patient, teaching them the tools and techniques to manage and reduce their own symptoms allowing them to be the driver in their own recovery and not just a passenger. www.thepelvicpainclinic.co.uk