Article continues at The New York Times. Worth reading!A Fix for Stress-Related Pelvic Pain
By DONALD G. McNEIL Jr.
Published: December 30, 2013
STANFORD, Calif. — An unorthodox device for treating pelvic pain was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and its inventors say it could help legions of men in misery from what are misdiagnosed as prostate problems.
The therapeutic wand resembling a longshoreman’s cargo hook, but made of plastic, is used to gently press on “trigger points” in pelvic muscles that are in spasm. What makes it unorthodox is that men must insert it rectally; a small number of women use it vaginally.
The treatment, known as the Stanford pelvic pain protocol or the Wise-Anderson protocol, includes extensive relaxation therapy and sessions of mapping the internal points to be stretched.
“People who see us have failed all other treatments,” said David Wise, a psychologist, who devised the protocol with Dr. Rodney U. Anderson, an emeritus professor of urology at Stanford’s medical school, and Tim Sawyer, a physical therapist.
“They’ve been on antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, Flomax,” Dr. Wise continued. “Some have had wicked surgeries. Some have lived with pain for 20 years. Quite a few are mad at their doctors.”
Since 1995, the three men have taught the protocol to 2,500 patients; after clinical trials, the wand won F.D.A. approval late last year.
As a treatment for pelvic pain, the technique has been accepted by the American Urological Association, said Dr. J. Stuart Wolf Jr., chairman of the association’s guidelines committee.
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