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Efficacy of a therapeutic wand in addition to physiotherapy for treating bladder pain syndrome in women: a pilot randomized controlled trial


The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility of a randomized controlled trial (RCT) investigating the use of a therapeutic wand (TW) for pelvic floor muscle (PFM) treatment in women with bladder pain syndrome (BPS). Prolonged PFM tension contributes to the bladder pain, urinary frequency and urgency associated with BPS. Pelvic health physiotherapists routinely provide intravaginal myofascial release (MFR) to the PFMs in order to effectively reduce symptoms. Rapid access to physiotherapy during flare-ups of symptoms is effective, but difficult to obtain.
A TW was designed so as to allow men with chronic pelvic pain to self-treat, and this may be effective in women with BPS. For 6 weeks, two groups received weekly physiotherapist-provided MFR, and were monitored for a further 6-week
follow-up period. One group also used a TW at home three times a week throughout the pilot. Weekly outcome measures of BPS symptoms and quality of life were recorded. A clinically meaningful difference in Interstitial Cystitis Symptoms Index and Interstitial Cystitis Problem Index score changes between groups was recorded at 6 weeks (control group = 4.25 ± 0.95 and 3.50 ± 1.91, respectively; TW group = 6.20 ± 0.83 and 5.00 ± 1.41, respectively), and a difference was observed during the follow-up period (control group = 4.50 ± 1.73 and 4.00 ± 2.44, respectively; TW group = 8.00 ± 2.12 and 7 ± 1.87, respectively). There were no adverse events. Using the TW appears to have enhanced physiotherapy treatment during the initial 6 weeks, and improved symptoms during the 6-week follow-up
period. The TW may be a clinically useful tool for long-term management of BPS. The feasibility of the study method was proven, some alterations were recommended and an RCT is now warranted.
Keywords: bladder pain syndrome, physiotherapy, self-treatment, therapeutic wand.

Journal Details

Journal Title: POGP Journal 120 - Spring 2017

Issue Date: 01 June 2017

Issue: 120