Electroacupunture (EA) may be an effective way to relieve pain in men with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS), according to Korean investigators.

Sang-Hun Lee, MD, PhD, and Byung-Cheol Lee, OMD, PhD, of the College of Oriental Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, randomized 39 patients to one of three treatment arms: advice and exercise (A&E) alone, A&E plus EA, and A&E plus sham EA (SEA).

Each treatment course lasted six weeks. For EA, six acupuncture points were used to stimulate the sacral nerve and release the piriformis muscle using an electrical pulse generator. Thirty-six subjects completed the trial (12 in each group).

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At six weeks, the NIH-Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index (NIH-CPSI) total score had decreased significantly in the EA group with the A&E and SEA groups, the researchers reported in Urology (2009;73:1036-1041). A subscale analysis of the NIH-CPSI showed that the EA group experienced significant decreases in pain-related symptoms compared with the other groups.

All 12 EA recipients had at least a six-point decrease in NIH-CPSI total score compared with two (16.7%) of 12 SEA-treated subjects and three (25%) of 12 A&E patients.