Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome - Male

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Original Editor - Laura Ritchie, posting on behalf of Henry Chan, MPT Class of 2017 at Western University, project for PT9584.

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Definition/Description[edit | edit source]

Male chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CPPS), commonly known as chronic prostatitis (CP), is a common urological disorder that affects men of any age. CPPS is a type of prostatitis also known as Category III prostatitis (or chronic prostatitis), and it accounts for 90% of cases of prostatitis. CPPS is a non-bacterial manifestation of the disease, and the usage of CPPS represents the acknowledgement that pain is the primary symptom of nonbacterial prostatitis. The etiology of male CPPS is not fully understood and thus treatment options are variable. [1] [2] Chronic pelvic pain syndrome affect younger men (median age of 43) and presents with perineal and genital pain that can be unrelenting. The prevalence of CPPS in the United States is estimated between 2-16% while the prevalence in Asia is estimated between 2.7-8.7%. [1]

Clinically Relevant Anatomy[edit | edit source]

A good understanding of the genitourinary system and pelvic floor musculature is crucial clinically.

Clinical Presentation[edit | edit source]

The primary and most commonly reported symptom in CPPS is pain. The traditional presentation of CPPS is a patient who has pelvic, perineal, or genital pain associated with voiding and/or sexual dysfunction, characterized by a relapsing, remitting course. Patients with CPPS, however, can have very variable presentations with many different signs and symptoms associated with the syndrome that often overlap with other urological disorders.[1] [3] [4]

There are four cardinal symptom categories of CPPS:

  • Perineal/pelvic pain
  • Voiding symptoms
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Systemic conditions

The onset of pain is usually sudden with a duration that must be present for at least three of the last six months. The intensity of pain can be quite severe and is most often located at the perineal and genital region but can manifest to other regions such as lower abdomen, penis, scrotum, rectum, and lower back. Urinary symptoms, both obstructive and irritable, are common. Ejaculatory pain is also a common symptom. Systemic symptoms include myalgia, arthralgia, and unexplained fatigue. CPPS symptoms commonly wax and wane with inconsistent remissions and exacerbations.[1] [3][4] Review discusses the cause, diagnosis, and management of chronic scrotal content pain, a common but poorly understood condition.[5]

Differential Diagnosis[edit | edit source]

The following are conditions that can mimic CPPS: [1]

  • Granulomatous prostatitis
  • Various abscesses and cysts
  • Prostatic infections
  • BPH
  • Fistulae from adjacent organs
  • Prostatic urethral stricture
  • Varicocele
  • Seminal vesiculitis/obstruction
  • Bladder/prostatic calculi
  • Ureteral lithiasis
  • Tumours of the prostate
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Overactive bladder
  • Radiation cystitis
  • Bladder cancer
  • Urethral diverticulum
  • Bacterial urethritis
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Pudendal nerve entrapment
  • Chronic Scrotal Content Pain[5]

Diagnostic Procedures[edit | edit source]

A physical pelvic examination will provide a good scan of the genitourinary system such as the penis, scrotum, perineum, prostate, and inguinal areas. A physical examination can be used to exclude other disorders such as inguinal herniation, nerve entrapment, or musculoskeletal inflammation. Suprapubic tenderness may be presented in some men with CPPS. The most important part of the examination is the digital rectal examination (DRE) which is used to assess the size, consistency, symmetry, and tenderness of the prostate. Most patients with CPPS will present with a normal DRE. Internal pelvic musculature should be palpated to examine muscle trigger points that can cause muscle spasm or pain. Often, patient report that symptoms can be reproduced by palpation of these trigger points.[1] [4] Laboratory studies are useful in characterizing the type of prostatitis and to use to rule out other pathologies such as urinary tract infection and chronic bacterial prostatitis. Voiding studies are useful in those that complain of voiding symptoms.[1] Imaging of the pelvis such as ultrasound, CT scan, and MRI is often not warranted but may be useful in ruling out conditions such as various abscesses and cysts, cancers, and prostatic calculi.[1]

Outcome Measures[edit | edit source]

The NIH Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index (NIH-CPSI) is used to quantify signs and symptoms and their impact on quality of life.[1][4]

Physiotherapy Management[edit | edit source]

Physiotherapy provides a broad variety of techniques that are safe and effective for CPPS. The following are different modalities or techniques that are available under pelvic floor rehabilitation: [1][2][4]

  1. Biofeedback: helpful modality to teach the patient to avoid unnecessary increased resting muscle tone. Patients in weekly and biweekly physical therapy up to six to eight treatment sessions found significant improvement as shown by a decrease in the NIH-CPSI as well as improved resting tone.[6]
  2. Myofascial trigger point release: neuromuscular therapy aimed to reduce the tone of connective tissue and restoring mobility of the muscle fascia. In a group of patients treated for at least one month, about half experienced improvement associated with 25% or greater decrease in symptom scores.[7]
  3. Acupuncture: insertion of needles at specific points of the body. In a 10-week study, CPPS patients were randomized into acupuncture versus sham acupuncture groups. after which those in the acupuncture group improved twice as much in their NIH-CPSI symptom scores versus the sham group.[8] CPPS patients treated with a weekly session of acupuncture for six weeks showed more than 50% decrease in their NIH-CPSI score from baseline.[9]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Nguyen C, Shoskes D. Evaluation of the Prostatitis Patient. Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome. 2008:1-16. doi:10.1007/978-1-59745-472-8_1.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Suh L, Lowe F. Alternative Therapies for the Treatment of Chronic Prostatitis. Current Urology Reports. 2011;12(4):284-287. doi:10.1007/s11934-011-0188-y.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Potts J. Physical Therapy for Chronic Prostatitis /Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome. Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome. 2008:131-141. doi:10.1007/978-1-59745-472-8_11.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Shoskes D. Therapy for Category III Prostatitis: A Synthesis. Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome. 2008:265-271. doi:10.1007/978-1-59745-472-8_20.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Ziegelmann MJ, Farrell MR, Levine LA. Evaluation and Management of Chronic Scrotal Content Pain—A Common Yet Poorly Understood Condition. Reviews in urology. 2019;21(2-3):74.
  6. Cornel E, van Haarst E, Schaarsberg R, Geels J. The Effect of Biofeedback Physical Therapy in Men with Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome Type III. European Urology. 2005;47(5):607-611. doi:10.1016/j.eururo.2004.12.014.
  7. Anderson R, Wise D, Sawyer T, Chan C. Integration of Myofascial Trigger Point Release and Paradoxical Relaxation Training Treatment of Chronic Pelvic Pain in Men. The Journal of Urology. 2005;174(1):155-160. doi:10.1097/01.ju.0000161609.31185.d5.
  8. Lee S, Liong M, Yuen K et al. Acupuncture versus Sham Acupuncture for Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain. The American Journal of Medicine. 2008;121(1):79.e1-79.e7. doi:10.1016/j.amjmed.2007.07.033.
  9. Tugcu V, Tas S, Eren G, Bedirhan B, Karadag S, Tasci A. Effectiveness of Acupuncture in Patients with Category IIIB Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome: A Report of 97 Patients. Pain Medicine. 2010;11(4):518-523. doi:10.1111/j.1526-4637.2009.00794.x.