Physiotherapy for Prostatitis Relieves Symptoms

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For the millions of men who suffer with prostatitis, word that an effective, non-drug therapy called physiotherapy can significantly relieve symptoms is good news. Traditional treatment for symptoms of prostatitis includes anti-inflammatory drugs, alpha-blockers, chronic pain management, hormonal therapy, and in some cases, antibiotics.

Prostatitis is a urological conditions which can cause infection or inflammation of the prostate gland. The National Institutes of Health has defined four distinct types of prostatitis: acute bacterial prostatitis, which is usually treated with antibiotics; chronic bacterial prostatitis, characterized by recurrent urinary tract infections and pelvic pain; asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis, which is typically left untreated; and chronic prostatitis, also known as chronic pelvic pain syndrome, which represents the majority of cases.

Chronic prostatitis is characterized by pelvic pain that lasts for longer than three months of a six-month period, painful ejaculation, and urinary symptoms not associated with a urinary tract infection. The pain typically occurs between the testicles and the rectum, as well as the groin, genital area, and lower back. This type of prostatitis affects 10 to 15 percent of men and can cause significant or debilitating pain and sexual dysfunction. It is also the type of prostatitis that can respond to physiotherapy.

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Results of numerous studies indicate that physiotherapy can be effective for providing relief of chronic prostatitis without aggravating symptoms. Physiotherapy can involve exercises and physical therapies that strengthen back and hip muscles and stretch pelvic floor muscles. Therapeutic approaches can include biofeedback, use of ice and/or heat, massage, electrotherapy, breathing exercises, and relaxation exercises.

A study conducted in the Netherlands, for example, found that biofeedback significantly improved symptoms among 31 men who had chronic prostatitis. A review study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that physiotherapy is an integral part of treatment of chronic prostatitis.

Men who suffer with chronic prostatitis and who have not discussed the possibility of physiotherapy with their physicians may want to talk to their doctors about this treatment approach. Not all urologists or other physicians who treat chronic prostatitis are aware that physiotherapy is a viable alternative therapy for chronic pelvic pain conditions.

SOURCES:
Canadian Physiotherapy Association
Cornel EB et al. European Urology 2005 May; 47(5): 607-11
Duclos AJ et al. Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management 2007 Aug; 3(4): 507-12
Murphy AB. Drugs 2009; 69(1): 71-84
Rosenbaum TY, Owens A. Journal of Sexual Medicine 2008 Mar; 5(3): 513-23

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