Bladder problems are common, affecting approximately 5 million women and 2 million men of all ages in the UK. The commonest symptoms are bladder pain, frequency and nocturia (having to get up at night, often frequently) but patients are often more distressed by the depression, fatigue and anxiety that accompany the conditions.
Fortunately, we can now treat these conditions with bioelectronic medicine.
The term bladder problems describes a set of conditions including overactive bladder syndrome, irritable bladder syndrome and painful bladder syndrome. These conditions often overlap with pelvic pain problems.
The underlying cause of this group of bladder problems and pain appears to be a chronic inflammatory state of the bladder which leads to the urge to empty the bladder frequently and also to the associated discomfort and pain.
Both acupuncture and ‘no needle’ electroacupuncture applied to certain points on the legs have a profound anti-inflammatory effect and reduce pain, and irritability of the bladder. (1)
There are some other conditions which may overlap with overactive bladder syndrome such as chronic pelvic pain syndrome which affects both males and females.(2) A large group of patients with vulvodynia - pain in the perineum and vagina which is described as 'burning, stinging or rawness' - do not respond to the standard approaches which include steroid creams, local anaesthetic gel or amitriptyline. One study showed that acupuncture treatment over a few weeks produced an improvement in symptoms in 3 out 4 of these women. (3)
Another group of patients who may be helped with treatment are those who develop bladder problems following treatment for cancer. Many patients who have had radiotherapy to the pelvic area during their treatment for cancer will unfortunately develop some distressing symptoms due to the radiation which can include pain, frequency and urgency of urination.. These symptoms may be substantially helped using acupuncture, which is also used at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London. Our treatments can all be carried out remotely.
(1) Success of acupuncture in the treatment of interstitial cystitis. Reeves, Chapple and Pullman: Journal of Urology 2009:181:23 Abst. 62.
(2) Lee SWH et al. Acupuncture versus sham acupuncture for chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain. The American Journal of Medicine 121(1) Jan 2008
(3) Powell J, Wojnarowska. Acupuncture for vulvodynia. J R Soc. Med 1999; 92; 579-581