Treating Prostatitis with a Pelvic Wand
Use of a pelvic wand for prostatitis treatment (specifically chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome) can provide significant relief for men who are living with this form of prostatitis. The personal wand allows men to self-treat internal myofascial trigger points in the pelvic floor, which in turn reduces pelvic muscle tenderness and pain.
The pelvic wand is curved and acts as an extension of a man’s finger to locate the internal trigger points. Once men are trained and supervised on how to use the device, they can treat themselves at home several times a week.
To demonstrate the effectiveness of the pelvic wand for chronic pelvic pain syndrome, one study evaluated its use for six months among 106 men. Nearly all of them reported that self-treatment was very or moderately effective in reducing pain. Similar findings were reported in a subsequent six-month study that involved 314 men.
How did use of the pelvic wand for prostatitis affect how much medication men took for pain? Yet another six-month study involving 298 men and 67 women took on this challenge. After six months of using the pelvic wand, medication use dropped by 36.9 percent, and cessation was significantly associated with relief in all symptoms.
Men who have chronic pelvic pain syndrome may want to talk to their doctor about using a pelvic wand for myofascial trigger point self-treatment.
PCA3 Test to Diagnose Cancer in Men with Prostatitis
A new study indicates that despite previous findings, high levels of PCA3 may be present in men who have prostatitis. The Prostate CAncer gene 3 (PCA3) is produced only by prostate cancer cells and has been believed not to be affected by prostate size (e.g., inflammation associated with prostatitis). This characteristic has led some experts to suggest using PCA3 testing in the general male population to help with early diagnosis of prostate cancer.
Based on new discoveries, however, PCA3 testing may not always help diagnose prostate cancer in men with prostatitis (prostate inflammation). The team that arrived at that conclusion evaluated 260 urine samples (PCA3 is a urine test) from men with suspected prostate cancer. They then analyzed the fate of 16 men who had a PCA3 ratio greater than 100 and a prostate biopsy.
Sixty-five percent of the men had prostate cancer, and 65 percent of them were high grade. Among the men who did not have prostate cancer as shown by the biopsy, 83 percent had acute prostatitis at biopsy. Therefore, doctors should not assume that inflammation does not elevate PCA3 and also aware that some men who have extremely high PCA3 levels can have prostatitis.
MRI Identifies Chronic Prostatitis From Cancer
High levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) present a challenge for physicians, since high PSA can occur in men who have prostate cancer or chronic prostatitis, or both. A high PSA typically causes doctors to suspect prostate cancer, which can prompt them to order potentially unnecessary tests such as prostate biopsy.
Although conventional MRIs are not adequate for distinguishing between prostate cancer and prostatitis, some experts believe a specific type of MRI —high spatial resolution dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI, or HR-CE-MRI—is superior to the conventional approach. If true, this new technique could reduce unneeded procedures and stress associated with the uncertainty of knowing whether one has prostate cancer.
Fifty-four men with prostate cancer who were scheduled for prostatectomy underwent HR-CE-MRI of the prostate, and features of the MRIs suggestive of chronic prostatitis were compared to specimens obtained during surgery. Clinicians observed specific features suggestive of chronic prostatitis which contrasted with those of prostate cancer.
Based on their preliminary results, the authors reported that the HR-CE-MRI method was accurate for differentiating between prostate cancer and chronic prostatitis and “can lead to more accurate MRI staging or prostate cancer which can affect treatment choice and clinical outcome.” If this MRI may help distinguish chronic prostatitis from prostate cancer, it also could offer more peace of mind to men who find themselves in this position.
Effect of Pollen on BPH and Prostatitis Symptoms
Pollen extract (Cernilton) can have a beneficial effect on symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostatitis following transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), according to a new study appearing in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine.
One hundred men with BPH and histological prostatitis (evident at a cellular or tissue level) after undergoing TURP were grouped according to the severity of their symptoms: A=mild, B=moderate, and C=severe. The men then were randomly assigned to take Cernilton for three months following TURP or to take a placebo (control group).
The men were evaluated for three factors: quality of life, storage symptoms score (storage symptoms of BPH include frequent urination, a sudden uncontrollable urge to urinate, and waking at night to urinate), and score on the International Index of Erectile Function-5 (IIEF-5).
Six months following TURP:
- Factors in the men in group A remained stable
- Significant differences were seen in the IIEF-5 in the men in group B
- Significant differences were observed in IEFF-5, storage symptoms score, and quality of life in group C
- Significant differences existed in all three factors between the men who took the pollen extract and those who took placebo
The authors concluded that in men with BPH and histological prostatitis who have undergone TURP, use of the pollen extract Cernilton can result in an improvement in lower urinary tract symptoms and sexual function, and that the degree of improvement depends on the grade of prostatitis.
Is Your Pelvic Pain All In Your Head?
If you have been suffering from chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS) there’s a good chance that your pain is all in your head. Wait! Before you leave this site in anger, keep in mind that we are not saying that your pain is not real. We know it is very real. However, the cause of your pain may stem from stress, anxiety, emotional problems, or other psychological causes all originating in your head and causing real pain elsewhere in your body.
It may seem hard to believe that your stress and emotions can affect your pelvic health, but stress and anxiety can take a toll on your health in several ways. In the case of CP/CPPS, stress and anxiety can affect the pelvic floor muscles. As you know, some people carry their stress in their neck, back, or shoulders, and over time this tension can lead to chronic headaches and neck pain. Other men clench their pelvic muscles instead. Most men who do this are not even aware that they clench their pelvic muscles when stressed. Over time, this causes inflammation that can lead to muscle weakness, chronic tension disorder, and trigger points in the pelvic floor muscles, causing pelvic pain, pain during sex, urinary symptoms, and the feeling as if you are sitting on a golf or tennis ball.
Chronic pelvic pain syndrome affects men of any age and can last from months to years. This condition is difficult to treat through conventional methods, and the best treatment program involves looking at your whole-body health. Yes, you can treat the symptoms and seek pain relief in a variety of ways, but if you want to really seek long-term relief you need to find out what is causing your pelvic pain. Experts realize that prostatitis pain can stem from many causes in the body that do not originate in the prostate itself. One of the most common contributors to CP/CPPS is a man’s psychological health.
The Mind-Body Connection
The mind-body connection is very powerful. As mentioned, stress and anxiety can lead to chronic muscle tension, but stress also negatively affects hormones. Stress, anxiety, and other emotional problems can elevate your prolactin levels, damaging your immune system. This also increases inflammation and causes a possible imbalance in your neuroendocrine system. That can lead to chronic pain.
The research shows there is a relationship between anxiety and stress and prostatitis. When researchers were conducting a study on men with CP/CPPS in Taiwan, they noticed a relationship between anxiety and prostatitis. While reviewing the men’s health records, the researchers found that the men with CP/CPPS were twice as likely to have been previously diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
Other studies have also found that men with high levels of stress and little emotional or social support are associated with a history of having prostatitis. If you become stressed and frustrated due to having a chronic pain condition like prostatitis, you can actually amplify your pain and make it worse because the more stress you are under the more likely you are to be in pain. That is why now more then ever it is important to take steps to manage your stress and anxiety so you can stop this vicious cycle.
How to Treat Stress and Anxiety
If you suffer from chronic pelvic pain, take comfort in knowing that there are many of alternative treatments for prostatitis available to you. You should consider trying several different techniques, because a multimodal approach is shown to work best. It is important to incorporate some stress management techniques for treating prostatitis so you can get to the source of your pain, rather than just treating the pain itself. Managing your stress and anxiety is key to long-term management of your prostatitis.
There are a lot of ways you can relieve stress. It is best to try a few different techniques to see what works best for you. Exercise is a popular stress reliever for many men. Whether you prefer going for a run, hitting the weights, or doing more calming exercises like yoga to clear your head, you may find that exercise has tremendous value in reducing stress. If you are prone to anxiety it is recommended to learn meditation and breathing exercises. You might even want to sign up for a local tai chi class to help teach you to relax and improve your mental state.
If you have a pelvic floor disorder, several of the programs that treat pelvic pain combine therapies that treat the muscles with training for the mind in the form of cognitive behavioral therapy. It is important to consider the mind-body connection, which is addressed when you look at whole-body approaches to prostatitis like Dr. Geo’s NPAT Treatment Program. The NPAT program looks at pelvic pain as a whole-body problem.
The NPAT holistic approach involves natural treatments like diet and phytotherapy, alternative treatments (like prostate massage, acupuncture, and pelvic rehabilitation), and total body approaches (like stress management, exercise, and lifestyle). Treating your whole body from your head to your prostate and beyond is going to address any possible causes of your pelvic pain as well as any other health concerns as well.
Another whole-body approach to pelvic pain is the XY Health Program by Isa Herrera. Isa Herrera is a physiotherapist who developed a program for pelvic floor dysfunction that includes exercises, stretches, and pain-relief methods. The XY Program also addresses the mind-body connection as an important part of healing. Patients achieve pelvic pain relief from relaxing or strengthening their muscles and relaxing their mind.
The Wise-Anderson treatment is another method for treating the pelvic muscle dysfunction and the brain. The program includes psychological therapy to treat the behaviors that are causing the tension. This treatment, like many approaches that address both pelvic muscles and behaviors, can take many months.
It is important to understand that treating male pelvic pain is going to take time and patience. If years of tension and certain behaviors created the problem, it will not resolve itself overnight. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix pill for pelvic pain. Antibiotics do not work because chronic pelvic pain is not caused by bacteria. Taking antibiotics when they are not necessary can actually harm your health.
It is best to consider natural, drug-free therapies that directly target the possible cause(s) of your pain. The great part of using natural and alternative therapies for stress and pelvic pain is that they are not associated with negative side effects. Many of these therapies can be done inexpensively and in your home. Chances are that if you follow a holistic program that addresses your whole-body health (including your diet, food allergies, and exercise level), you are going to enjoy improved health benefits in your overall health, and these improvements will not be just in your head.
6 Ways to Deal with a Prostatitis Flare-Up
When your prostatitis symptoms “flare-up,” it can be frustrating and even overwhelming. If you have been suffering from recurring prostatitis symptoms, do not feel like there is no hope. There are actually many things you can do to determine what may be causing your symptoms and several ways to deal with a prostatitis flare-up.
There are two types of chronic prostatitis that can have symptoms returning for months: chronic bacterial prostatitis and the more-common chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CPPS). Affecting about 95% of the men who have prostatitis, CPPS does not usually have bacteria present and is often caused by problems elsewhere in the body and outside of the actual prostate itself.
You want to relieve your immediate symptoms, but you also want to get to the source of your problems so that you can prevent future flare-ups. The best long-term treatment plan for chronic prostatitis involves a multimodal whole-body approach that looks at your diet, stress management, lifestyle adaptations, and a number of natural and alternative treatments. You may have more than one cause of your prostatitis symptoms, which may be why it is so difficult to treat. That is why experts recommended trying several different approaches.
One of the first steps to take is to relax both your mind and muscles. In about 50% of the cases of prostatitis, the pelvic pain is due to chronic tension in the pelvic floor muscles. One of the largest contributors to this pelvic tension is stress. Because having a difficult-to-treat and painful condition that does not go away increases your stress and anxiety, these issues can actually contribute further to your problems.
Learn different techniques for reducing stress and determine your best way to manage stress in order to help relieve prostatitis. This may include exercise (which is helpful for treating both prostatitis and stress), breathing exercises, yoga, tai chi, mediation, or by talking to a therapist.
There are several alternative treatment programs for pelvic tension that also address the accompanying psychological component of this tension. Cognitive behavioral training is often part of programs to relieve pelvic tension. Some men unknowingly clench their pelvic floor muscles when they are stressed or anxious. This can lead to inflammation and chronic tension in the pelvic floor muscles and lead to pain, urinary problems, and even sexual problems. This chronic tension can develop over many years, so it can take some time to correct it and retrain your body, but it can lead to success. Because managing your stress and anxiety works to address the cause of the pelvic floor disorder, it can help you to manage your pain and prevent future flare-ups.
Try Alternative Treatments
Besides managing stress, anxiety, and other psychological causes of prostatitis, there are a number of other alternative treatments for prostatitis that are worth trying. You can try several different alternative treatments to help you deal with a prostatitis flare-up. Alternative treatments are drug-free therapies that include simple treatments you can do at home like applying ice packs to the area or sitting in a hot sitz bath. If sitting is painful, you may take pressure off the prostate area by sitting on special cushions and pillows.
Other, more-involved alternative chronic prostatitis treatments may require help from a trained professional. Your options include acupuncture, biofeedback, prostate massage, trigger point release therapy, and intrapelvic physiotherapy or pelvic floor rehabilitation. You can do some of these therapies at home by yourself or with the help of a partner once you have learned how to perform them. Combining these methods with stress management or a cognitive training program can help you find more long-term relief.
Change Your Diet
The best holistic treatment plans for prostatitis look at your whole body health to determine what is causing you prostatitis symptoms, and one of the most important aspects is your diet and nutrition. Studies have found that there are certain foods to avoid for prostatitis because they exacerbate prostatitis symptoms. If you eat a lot of spicy foods or acidic foods, your diet can be causing your prostatitis flare-ups. Try eliminating spicy foods, caffeinated beverages, hot peppers, chili, alcohol, wheat, and acidic foods from your diet to see if it helps.
Keep a record of what you eat in a food journal. If you notice that your symptoms get worse after eating a certain food, stop eating it for a while. It is important to stay well hydrated, as dehydration is a potential cause of prostatitis. Food allergies and intolerances can also lead to prostatitis flare-ups.
Try Prostate Supplements
In addition to a healthy prostate-friendly diet, there are several well-researched supplements for prostatitis. A few of them are even part of the treatment protocols recommended by urologists. Supplements can help you deal with a prostatitis flare-up by reducing inflammation, maximizing prostate health, and supporting better pelvic and urinary health.
Some of the supplements that have the most successful clinical studies and research behind them are Graminex pollen, quercetin, and turmeric (curcumin). Pollen extracts and quercetin are often combined in phytotherapy, which men use to relieve sexual pain, reduce inflammation, and support immunity. Other supplements that have significant research for prostate and urinary health are probiotics, plant sterols, green tea, stinging nettle, pygeum, phytonutrients like DIM, cranberry, saw palmetto, and vitamin D.
Supplements can also help men suffering with chronic bacterial prostatitis. A study shows that taking certain supplements like curcumin, quercetin, saw palmetto, and stinging nettle with antibiotics can help resolve chronic bacterial prostatitis symptoms better than antibiotics alone. (Cai 2009)
Perhaps this method to deal with a prostatitis flare-up has caught your attention. The good news is that sex is one treatment for prostatitis. It is important to maintain a healthy sex life because avoiding sex or having a lack of sex can lead to prostatitis because semen can accumulate in the prostate and cause inflammation. Try to ejaculate at least once a week to clear the fluids out of the prostate. If pain during sex is a problem and barrier to sex or ejaculation, there are some helpful, natural treatments for sexual pain like phytotherapy.
Take Medications for Prostatitis
Natural and alternative treatments are usually the best plan for dealing with a prostatitis flare-up, but there are drugs for prostatitis if you have not had success with other treatments. There are no medications that “cure” chronic prostatitis, but they can help relieve severe symptoms. Antibiotics should only be used if you have bacterial prostatitis (and may be necessary if you have acute bacterial prostatitis). Antibiotics are not recommended or helpful for treating CPPS and can lead to more serious complications and problems.
In the short term you may get some acute pain relief with anti-inflammatory drugs, but these medications are not safe for long-term use. That is why it is smart to look into natural and alternative treatments for managing pain. There are a number of medications that can help manage severe urinary symptoms, muscle spasms, or neuropathic pain. All of these medications do come with side effects, so be sure to research and find out if the benefits of these medications outweigh the risks.
If you follow these 6 ways to deal with a prostatitis flare-up, you may be able to resolve your pelvic pain long-term. Follow a natural, whole-body approach to determine the causes of your prostatitis, and employ several different treatments. You need to keep an open mind and be patient with some of the therapies. You will find that treating your prostatitis in several different ways (including diet, exercise, psychological health, supplements, and alternative therapies) is going to put you on the path to better prostate and pelvic health.
Cai T et al: results from a prospective randomized study. Int J Antimicrob Agents 2009 Jun; 33(6): 549-53