The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate the effectiveness of complementary therapies in the treatment of bladder pain syndrome. An electronic search identified 1454 articles; however, after review by two independent reviewers, this was reduced to 11 articles which were eligible to be included in the review. The therapies reviewed were: 1. Acupuncture and relaxation therapy (sacral acupuncture and or hypnotherapy performed weekly or every other week); 2. Hydrogen rich therapy (hydrogen rich water vs. placebo); 3. Physical therapy (myofascial physiotherapy of abdominal wall, back, buttocks and thighs); 4. L-arginine; 5. Diet management (identified caffeinated, carbonated and alcoholic drinks, citrus fruits, artificial sweeteners and spicy foods as foods to avoid). Tibial nerve stimulation was excluded as it has already been reviewed extensively elsewhere. The study concluded that dietary management, acupuncture and physical therapy all have a potential role in managing patients with this condition. They do, however, point out that there is a lack of robust evidence, and appropriately powered randomised controlled trials of suitable length follow-up are required. 

Complementary therapies for bladder pain syndrome: a systematic review.
Verghese TS, Riordain RN, Champaneria R, Latthe PM.
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Ann Crump

Central Manchester Foundation NHS Trust

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