Last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the annual “Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report.” The results were sobering: according to data from 2016, the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is higher today than it has ever been in the country’s history. This finding is consistent with trends over the last few years. STD rates have been climbing, with records broken in both 2015 and 2016. Indeed, the CDC described this year’s report as a “clear warning of a growing threat.”
Of all the STDs that the CDC reported on, the most common was chlamydia. In the year 2016 alone, almost 1.6 million Americans were diagnosed with chlamydia. Let untreated, a chlamydia infection can cause a wide range of short-term and long-term health problems. Although most people associate chlamydia with young women — the demographic group that is has the highest rate of incidence of chlamydia — it is actually a growing problem among men. Another one of the most significant findings of the CDC’s 2016 report was there has recently been a sharp spike in STDs among men. Between 2015 and 2016 alone, the STD incidence among men jumped by 15 percent — from 14 cases per 100,000 patients in 2015 to 16 cases per 100,000 men in 2016.
The Link Between Chronic Prostatitis and Chlamydia Infection
Chronic prostatitis is a painful pelvic condition that affects many men, but the etiology is poorly understood. In most cases, chronic prostatitis is nonbacterial, but it can also be caused by an infection with chlamydia. As the incidence of chlamydia continues to rise, it is likely that more men will experience chronic bacterial prostatitis in the future.
Chronic bacterial prostatitis is also notoriously difficult to diagnose and treat. The symptoms are consistent with a wide range of genitourinary conditions, so they can be difficult for a doctor to identify, especially since chlamydia infections in men have been so rare until recently. Some of the most common complaints include:
- Pain or burning with urination
- Pain with bowel movements
- Pain in the lower back and pelvic area
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Bad smelling urine
- Pain with ejaculation
Even if a chlamydia infection is properly diagnosed, the treatment may not be effective. Most doctors prescribe antibiotics, but clinical trials have not definitively demonstrated their effectiveness. In many cases, a small colony of bacteria survives the antibiotic treatment and remains within the prostate. As a result, men who have been infected with chlamydia often experience recurrent symptoms of chronic prostatitis that can persist for months or even years.
Considering Massage As an Alternative Treatment
Chlamydia is a serious infection, so if you believe that you have chronic prostatitis that may be caused by a chlamydia infection, you should contact a physician immediately. However, if your chronic bacterial prostatitis has already been diagnosed and you are looking to reduce some of the symptoms, you may want to consider massage as a complementary therapy to traditional medical treatment.
Massage has actually been around as a treatment for prostatitis since before the rise of antibiotics. In the 1930’s clinicians published anecdotal evidence regarding the efficacy of massage for reducing symptoms. More recently, scientists have come up with several hypotheses to explain these results. Specifically, the evidence suggests that prostate massage can help reduce symptoms by:
- Draining fluid from the prostatic duct, making it easier for antimicrobials to enter the prostate and kill bacteria
- Disrupting bacterial biofilms that exacerbate symptoms
- Stimulating a neuromuscular trigger point along the wall of the pelvis, releasing tension that causes pain
There were two studies in 1999 that provide rigorous evidence for the efficacy of massage for the treatment of bacterial prostatitis. The first study was a non-controlled study in which participants received prostate massage 2 to 3 times per week for 4 to 6 weeks, along with standard antibiotic treatment. At the end of the study period, the researchers noted “some clinical benefit” for patients with chronic prostatitis. Similarly, the other study found that 40 percent of patients who received antibiotic treatment alongside prostatic massage experienced “lasting clinical improvement” — especially in cases where bacterial cultures remained in the prostate despite antibiotic treatment. This finding makes a convincing case for men whose chronic bacterial prostatitis continues to cause symptoms despite antibiotic treatment.
Atlanta Chiropractic and Wellness offers many different massage modalities that can provide benefits for patients with a wide range of needs, including individuals who are dealing with chronic bacterial prostatitis resulting from an infection with chlamydia. Although massage therapy does not serve as a replacement for traditional medical treatment from a physician, it can offer complementary benefits. Contact us today for more information about massage therapy and all of our other offerings!Share