In last week’s ICA eNews, the Interstitial Cystitis Association (ICA) reported on the International Pelvic Pain Society’s 20th Annual Scientific Meeting. We have more news to share with you from this event!

David Wiseman, BSc, PhD, MRPharmS, presented findings of a study on the efficacy of PainShield® at the IPPS meeting. This new wearable device administers low−frequency, low-intensity ultrasound to reduce pelvic and urological pain.

The therapeutic use of ultrasound is not new. As noted on the ICA website Pelvic Floor Dysfunction page, therapeutic ultrasound may be used in physical therapy to help reduce spasm, increase blood flow, promote healing and reduce inflammation. However, the PainShield device delivers the ultrasound differently—it is administered more broadly across the body.

Dr. Wiseman’s study included a relatively small sample size of 16 women and three men with a history of chronic pelvic or urological pain and related symptoms. About one-third (32%) of the patients had interstitial cystitis.

Each patient was treated one to two sessions, 6.5 hours a day. Treatment consisted of alternating 30 minute periods of active ultrasound and no ultrasound. Using several validated questionnaires, patients scored their symptoms both before receiving the ultrasound treatment and weeks after treatment.

Out of the 19 patients treated, 17 patients found relief. The ultrasound device reduced pelvic and urinary pain, as well as related symptoms:

  • Patients reported experiencing relief hours or days after starting treatment. This relief reduced the need for other pain-relieving medication in some patients.
  • Some patients also experienced improved sleep due to pain relief.

However, not every symptom reduction was clinically significant. Also, two patients had rapid onset of pain and/or swelling which went away a few days later. One patient experienced some abdominal discomfort after using the device. But, these patients reported similar reactions to conventional office−based ultrasound treatment.

At the time of the study, neither of the authors had a financial interest. However, the primary author’s company has become a distributor of the device.

The jury is still out on this device, as larger studies are needed to fully assess its efficacy. To learn more about this device visit:

Revised Monday, July 6th, 2015