Does TENS Treatment for Prostatitis Work?


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TENS treatment for prostatitis may be an option for men who have not responded to other therapies for this prostate disorder. A new study found that transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) provided symptom relief for men with refractory chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS), the most common type of prostatitis.

What Is TENS?

TENS is a pain relief technique that uses a device to deliver mild electrical impulses through electrodes placed on painful areas of the body. Use of TENS treatment for prostatitis and other painful conditions is an alternative treatment that is becoming more widely accepted, although much is still not understood about how it works. Indeed, some experts claim that it is only marginally effective or not helpful at all.

Advocates of TENS say it may work by stimulating the production of the body’s natural pain killers, called endorphins. Others suggest the electrical impulses confuse the pain signals in the brain. For now, it’s not known whether these reasons or others are behind the ability of TENS to relieve pain. However, it has proven to be helpful in cases of migraine, arthritis, bursitis, tension headache, and other painful conditions.

TENS Treatment for Prostatitis

In the new study, 60 men (mean age, 46.9 years) with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome that had not responded to previous therapies received TENS treatment for prostatitis for 12 weeks. At the beginning of the study, all 60 men said they felt mostly dissatisfied, terrible, or unhappy.

After the 12 weeks of treatment, 29 of the 60 men (48%) said they were mostly satisfied, pleased, or delighted with the results. Quality of life scores improved significantly after TENS treatment for prostatitis, as did pain scores. The men did not experience any adverse events related to the use of TENS.

The results of this study suggest TENS treatment for prostatitis may be an option for some men who suffer with this prostate condition. The next step is to conduct randomized, placebo-controlled trials.