Acupuncture durably improves prostate pain
Chinese clinicians report that acupuncture can durably improve symptoms of chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS). A total of 440 men with moderate to severe CP/CPPS underwent 20 sessions of either verum acupuncture (at bilateral Zhongliao BL-33, Huiyang BL-35, Shenshu BL-23 and Sanyinjiao SP-6) or sham treatment (superficial needling at nearby non-acupoints) over eight weeks, with 24 weeks of follow-up. Treatment was considered effective if a reduction of at least six points from baseline was achieved on a validated prostatitis symptom index at weeks 8 and 32. At all assessment points, more men in the acupuncture group reported marked or moderate improvements in symptoms. At week 8, a treatment response was seen in 60.6% of the acupuncture group, compared with 36.8% of the sham group. At week 32, the proportions were 61.5% in the acupuncture group and 38.3% in the sham group. The authors noted that the sham treatment exceeded the threshold for minimal clinically important difference (a reduction of four points on the prostatitis symptom index), while pointing out that superficial needling at non-acupoints may have physiological effects.