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Complementary and Alternative Medicine May Provide IC/BPS Relief, But More Studies are Needed

Pang R, Ali A. The Chinese approach to complementary and alternative medicine treatment for interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome. Transl Androl Urol. 2015 Dec;4(6):653-61. doi: 10.3978/j.issn.2223-4683.2015.08.10.

In this review article, the authors provide their perspective on approaches to interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS) beyond standard treatments. The approaches include not only traditional Chinese medicine, Quigong, and acupuncture, but also other complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments that may provide relief. These other modalities include dietary modification, nutraceuticals, mind/body interventions (such as bladder training, biofeedback, and yoga), body manipulation (massage and physical therapy), and more. While many of the therapies are promising, and seem to benefit a certain subset of IC/BPS patients, the authors say more study is needed to confirm the efficacy of these approaches in the management of IC/BPS. Regardless of this limitation, CAM treatments are typically non-invasive, alternative approaches that could provide additional relief to IC/BPS patients.