Acupuncture relieves symptoms in chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome: a randomized, sham-controlled trial

Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2015 Sep;18(3):249-54. doi: 10.1038/pcan.2015.13. Epub 2015 May 5.


Background: There are multiple approaches to the management of chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS); and lately the data suggesting the ability of acupuncture treatment to decrease pain, positively impact quality of life and potentially modulate inflammation has suggested it as a potential therapeutic option for men with CP/CPPS. We conducted this study to determine whether acupuncture is really an effective therapeutic modality for CP/CPPS in terms of >50% decrease in total National Institutes of Health Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index (NIH-CPSI) score from baseline compared with sham.

Methods: One hundred patients with CP/CPPS (category III B) in an outpatient urology clinic were randomized to receive acupuncture at either seven acupoints bilaterally or sham points adjacent to these points. NIH-CPSI was completed by each patient before and 6, 8, 16, 24 weeks after the treatment. Mean values of total CPSI score and subscores after the treatment and on follow-up following the treatment were compared.

Results: Of the acupuncture participants, 92% were NIH-CPSI responders (>50% decrease in total NIH-CPSI score from baseline) compared with 48% of sham participants, 8 weeks after the end of the therapy. Both groups experienced significant decrease in CPSI subscores throughout the whole follow-up period; however, the decline remained significantly greater in the active acupuncture group as compared with the sham group.

Conclusions: Our results show that the use of acupuncture in treatment of men with CP/CPPS symptoms resulted in a significant decrease in total NIH-CPSI scores.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy* / methods
  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pelvic Pain / diagnosis
  • Pelvic Pain / therapy*
  • Prostatitis / diagnosis
  • Prostatitis / therapy*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult