High Frequency Stimulation for Prostatitis
What Is High Frequency Stimulation for Prostatitis?
High frequency stimulation is an alternative treatment for chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS). It can be very difficult and frustrating to treat CP/CPPS, as there are a number of different causes and many of the causes are unrelated to the prostate gland itself.
Sometimes prostatitis is caused by neuropathic pain, which is pain that has no functional benefit and may be due to a dysfunction of the nervous system. Neuropathic pain can be caused by damage or disease that affects the sensory system in the body. Many traditional treatments are not effective for this type of pain, but many men find relief through alternative and natural treatments such as high frequency stimulation for prostatitis.
Research shows that certain types of high frequency stimulation can help men with CP/CPPS pain. The following are different types of high frequency stimulation:
- Magnetic stimulation
- Sacral nerve stimulation
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS).
High Frequency Stimulation—How Does It Work?
These various high frequency stimulation treatments vary in terms of their invasiveness and effectiveness. You will need to check with your doctor to find out the type may be most effective for you.
A study of 14 patients underwent electrostimulation. Researchers applied a urethro-anal stimulation device twice a week for 30 minutes for 5 weeks. All of the patients tolerated the stimulation and completed their treatment course with no complications.
The patients reported a distinct perineal feeling. The pain was improved in 83% of the men. The mean total National Institutes of Health (NIH) prostatitis symptom score significantly decreased from 29 (range 20 to 37) to 14 (range 8 to 24) points (p = 0.002). The mean pain decreased from 15 (range 12 to 20) to 7 (range 4 to 13) points (p = 0.002). Urinary complaints decreased from 2.5 (range 0 to 9) to 1 (range 0 to 8) points (p = 0.007), and quality of life improved from 9.5 (range 8 to 12) to 5.5 (range 3 to 10) (p = 0.003) (John).The researchers concluded that high frequency electrostimulation has an important benefit for CP/CPPS patients. The device used is technically simple, and it can be self-administered. This makes it an ambulatory treatment option for men with CP/CPPS.
Sacral Magnetic Stimulation
According to one study on 14 men with noninflammatory CP/CPPS, sacral magnetic stimulation reduced pain, but only during stimulation. While there were no complications and 12 out of 14 men experienced agreeable sensations, there were no sustained effect on the pain relief. Therefore this type of high frequency is not recommended as a treatment option (Leippold).
Sacral Nerve Stimulation
Another type of stimulation helpful for treating pelvic pain from prostatitis and other disorders is sacral neurostimulation, which uses low or high frequency stimulation. It is helpful for for urinary voiding dysfunction and neuropathic pain. Some patients who do not respond to low frequency stimulation get better relief with high frequency stimulation or a combination of the two.
Sacral Nerve Stimulation is more invasive and can lead to more complications as well. Sacral nerve stimulation involves a spinal cord stimulator with bilateral leads place at S2 and S3. An electrode is placed through the skin into the S3 or S4 foramen in the area of the nerve roots. A trial stimulation is performed for three to five days on an outpatient basis. If that is successful (the patient experiences a 50% reduction in pain), then a permanent stimulator is implanted surgically.
The implantation occurs in an operating room. The leads are anchored to underlying faschia, tunneled under the skin, and attached to a pulse generator that is places in a subcutaneous pocket. The pulse generator is often placed in the upper buttock or near the last rib.
Complications may include nerve injury, spinal cord injury, cerebrospinal fluid leak, bleeding, infection, generator failure, lead fracture or migration, and epidural abscess (Smith).
A less-invasive and related therapy is transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). A study that involved 24 men with CP/CPPS dived the men up into three groups. One group received TENS, one group received analgesics, and the control group did not receive TENS or analgesic, but did receive a placebo. All subjects took antibiotics throughout the treatment period. The pain level was assessed using the NIH-CP pain index. The researchers found that TENS had a significant effect on CP/CPPS pain and concluded, “TENS is an effective means of noninvasive symptomatic management of chronic prostatitis pain.” (Lamina)
Using High Frequency Stimulation for Prostatitis
High frequency stimulation may be an effective treatment for you. But you should keep in mind that the most successful treatment program for CP/CPPS is a multimodal approach. There are often other things that contribute to pelvic pain such as psychological problems, stress, dietary issues, and disorders of the pelvic floor muscles. There are many natural and alternative treatments for pelvic pain. There are also a few medications that treat neuropathic pain, such as antidepressives and gabapentinoids. Many of these medications also have some negative side effects, which is why many men try natural and alternative treatments first.
References for High Frequency Stimulation for Prostatitis:
John H1, Rüedi C, Kötting S, Schmid DM, Fatzer M, Hauri D. A new high frequency electrostimulation device to treat chronic prostatitis. J Urol. 2003 Oct;170(4 Pt 1):1275-7.
Lamina Sikiru, Hanif Shmaila, Samani and A. Muhammed. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) in the symptomatic management of chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome: a placebo-control randomized trial. Int. braz j urol. vol.34 no.6 Rio de Janeiro Nov./Dec. 2008
Leippold T, Strebel RT, Huwyler M, John HA, Hauri D, Schmid DM. Sacral magnetic stimulation in non-inflammatory chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Department of Urology, University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland.
Smith, Howard. Current Therapy in Pain.