The most prestigious research group in the world, indeed the final say on medical interventions, has just completed an updated review into the effects of various non-drug treatments for chronic pelvic pain.
They compared 38 studies, that included 3290 men, for a variety of treatments, including;
- Lifestyle modification
- Increased physical activity
- Extracorporeal shockwave therapy
- Transrectal thermotherapy
They discovered that acupuncture leads to a clinically significant reduction in symptoms. They also noted that, ‘Acupuncture may also lead to a clinically meaningful reduction in prostatitis symptoms compared with standard medical therapy’. In other words acupuncture may be more effective than current medical treatment. They could not be certain about, more data is needed. But it is an exciting start.
They also noted that there are likely to be no side effects from acupuncture and that extracorporeal shockwave therapy reduced symptoms. None of the other treatments had strong enough evidence to say anything for sure, lifestyle and physical activity did show some promise, though not as large differences as acupuncture or shockwave therapy.
Across more and more research, and indeed more Cochrane studies, we are seeing that acupuncture is effective for a wide variety of pain conditions, and in many cases is better than some standard medical treatments. Hopefully this will lead to integration in the NHS.