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Chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CPPS) is a functional pain disorder characterized by ongoing pain in the apparent absence of clinically identifiable causes. The prevalence of functional pain disorders demonstrates the importance of adequate management of ongoing symptomatology, but due to the uncertain etiology and myriad patient presentation phenotypes, reliable treatment options are difficult to implement. New interventions involving non-pharmacological approaches to pain management have been investigated across a spectrum of clinical and pre-clinical studies. Given that conservative care such as exercise, counseling, and musculoskeletal therapy is widely recommended as first-line treatment for CPPS, an updated review of these and related methodologies are needed. Familiarizing physicians and the public with the newest evidence for complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and other conservative care treatments will assist with the promotion of evidence-based practices in a safe and reliable manner. This review aimed to summarize the current evidence and proposed mechanisms for non-pharmacological treatment specific to CAM and management of chronic pelvic pain centered on neuromusculoskeletal focused intervention such as acupuncture, auriculotherapy, manipulation, manual therapy, myofascial release, and phototherapy. The discussion suggests that reported improvements in pelvic pain or related symptomatology may be attributed to changes in the peripheral inflammasome and somatic origins of peripheral sensitization. Robustness of the included clinical studies is discussed throughout the review, and attention is paid to delineating inclusion criteria of formally diagnosed CPPS compared to general pelvic or abdominal pain. Overall, this review consolidates the current state of evidence regarding the utilization of non-traditional interventions using CAM techniques for the management of chronic pelvic pain and recommends a future direction for the field.



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acupuncture, chronic pelvic pain syndrome, chronic prostatitis, complementary and alternative medicine, manipulation, myofascial release, pain