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High frequency stimulation for prostatitis is one of the alternative treatments for chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS). Patients can easily for become frustrated with how difficult it is to treat CP/CPPS. The reason for this difficulty is that are a number of causes and many of the different causes are actually unrelated to the prostate gland itself.
Sometimes neuropathic pain causes prostatitis. Neuropathic pain is pain that has no functional benefit and may be due to a dysfunction of the nervous system. It can be caused by damage or disease that affects the sensory system in the body. There are not a lot of effective traditional treatments for neuropathic pain, but many men find relief through alternative and natural treatments like high frequency stimulation for prostatitis.
High Frequency Stimulation for Prostatitis — How Does It Work?
Studies have demonstrated that certain types of high frequency stimulation can help relieve pain in men with CP/CPPS. Four types of high frequency stimulation include the following:
- Sacral Magnetic stimulation
- Sacral nerve stimulation
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS).
According to research, some types work better than others at relieving prostatitis pain. The high frequency stimulation treatments vary in terms of their invasiveness and effectiveness. You will need to talk to your physician to find out the type of high frequency stimulation that may be most effective for you and your symptoms. Following is the available research and uses of the four types of high frequency stimulation.
Electrostimulation: There was a study of 14 patients who underwent electrostimulation. Researchers applied a urethro-anal stimulation device two times a week for 30 minutes for 5 weeks. All 14 patients tolerated the stimulation and completed their treatment course without 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).T he researchers concluded that high frequency electrostimulation has an important benefit for men with CP/CPPS. The technically simple device is can be self-administered, making it an ambulatory treatment option for men with CP/CPPS.
Sacral Magnetic Stimulation: According to a study involving 14 men with noninflammatory CP/CPPS, sacral magnetic stimulation reduced pain, but only during stimulation. While there were not any complications and 12 out of 14 men experienced agreeable sensations, there was no sustained effect on pain relief. Therefore, this type of high frequency is not a recommended treatment option (Leippold).
Sacral Nerve Stimulation: Sacral neurostimulation uses low or high frequency stimulation. It has been found helpful for treating urinary voiding dysfunction and neuropathic pain from prostatitis and other disorders. Some patients who do not respond to low frequency stimulation find better relief with high frequency stimulation or a combination of the two.
Sacral Nerve Stimulation is more invasive and can lead to more complications. Sacral nerve stimulation involves using a spinal cord stimulator with bilateral leads placed 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 (if the patient experiences a 50% reduction in pain), then a permanent stimulator is implanted surgically.
The implantation takes place in an operating room. The leads are anchored to underlying fascia, tunneled under the skin, and attached to a pulse generator that is placed 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,
- generator failure,
- lead fracture or migration, or
- epidural abscess (Smith).
TENS: A less-invasive and related therapy is transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). Researchers in a study involving 24 men with CP/CPPS divided 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. They assessed pain level 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
If you are interested in finding out if high frequency stimulation may be an effective treatment for you, talk to your healthcare provider. It is important to 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 besides neuropathic pain. Common causes are stress, psychological problems, dietary issues, immune disorders, and disorders of the pelvic floor muscles. If you use high frequency stimulation, you should also consider trying several other natural and alternative treatments for pelvic pain. Some medications treat neuropathic pain, such as antidepressives and gabapentinoids. Many of these medications also cause some negative side effects, which is why many men see if they can find relief with natural and alternative treatments before using medications.
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.