The role of acupuncture in the management of chronic pelvic pain

Sandeep Gurram, Amin S. Herati, Bruce R. Gilbert

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Acupuncture as a medical procedure has been growing in popularity over time. Its inception is believed to have occurred over 6000 years ago; however, it was not until 200 BC when acupuncture practices that mirror present-day practices were described. Acupuncture has been used for many different medical ailments including chronic pain disorders, sexual dysfunction, pregnancy related physiologic changes, and cancer treatment related side effects. It was originally believed that acupuncture's effectiveness was due to its ability to manipulate qi, the energy of life. Studies examining acupuncture's effects on chronic pain have demonstrated three primary locations of action, peripheral, spinal, and supraspinal. The use of acupuncture for chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome has been growing in acceptance among urologists. Early studies were originally flawed with many methodological shortcomings; however, more recent studies are showing the effectiveness of the technique under more rigorous standards. There are over 3500 physician and 12,000 non-physician acupuncturists in the United States, and these practitioners are able to create a regimented treatment plan that has been shown to effectively manage pain in an otherwise complex and difficult-to-treat condition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationUrological and Gynaecological Chronic Pelvic Pain
Subtitle of host publicationCurrent Therapies
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9783319484648
ISBN (Print)9783319484624
StatePublished - Aug 3 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Acupuncture points
  • Acupuncture therapy - Prostatitis/methods
  • Adult
  • Affect/physiology
  • Chronic pain/therapy
  • Humans
  • Leukocyte count
  • Pelvic pain/blood
  • Pelvic pain/immunology
  • Pelvic pain/therapy
  • Prostatitis/blood
  • Prostatitis/immunology
  • Prostatitis/therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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