The Wise-Anderson Protocol for the treatment of prostatitis and other chronic pelvic pain syndromes has been developed over the course of 22 years. Developed between 1995 and 2003 by David Wise, PhD and Rodney U. Anderson, MD, a psychologist-urologist team, the Wise-Anderson Protocol is designed for patients suffering with prostatitis, chronic pelvic pain syndrome, levator ani syndrome, interstitial cystitis, pudendal neuralgia, coccydynia, chronic proctalgia, and pelvic floor dysfunction. Its aim is to train patients in self-treatment to reduce or resolve their symptoms. One of the goals of the treatment is to help patients learn to treat themselves and end their dependency on professional help.
‘Pelvic Floor Dysfunction’ is a generic term for the aforementioned disorders, and is most commonly associated with chronic tightening of the pelvic floor muscles in individuals with a tendency toward excessive worry and anxiety. Once triggered, this condition is fed by a self-perpetuating cycle of tension-anxiety-pain and protective guarding that tends to take on a life of its own.
Conventional medical treatment tends to focus on the local aspect of these disorders and not the systemic aspect. For example, most cases of men diagnosed with prostatitis are treated for a prostate infection despite the fact that infection is rarely found in the prostate gland and the problem is in the muscles of the pelvis and not the organs like the prostate gland. Nervous arousal related to their symptoms of chronic pelvic floor spasm is rarely addressed. Even when pelvic floor dysfunction is identified in men and women, the local dysfunction of pain and dysfunction in the pelvis are treated with pharmaceuticals, physical therapy, injections, nerve blocks, and other procedures including surgery. In the experience of most of those using the Wise-Anderson Protocol, these local treatments offer little long-term relief to sufferers of these kinds of chronic pelvic pain syndromes.
The paradigm upon which the Wise-Anderson Protocol is built is that pelvic floor dysfunction, in the form of chronically contracted muscles of the pelvic floor, underlies most cases of what is diagnosed as prostatitis, chronic pelvic pain syndrome, chronic proctalgia, levator ani syndrome, and pudendal neuralgia, and many cases of what is diagnosed as interstitial cystitis. These conditions are both systemic and local disorders that intimately interact with each other. Chronic pelvic pain, which is the hallmark of all of these disorders, is typically, though not always, initiated by years of worry, and by a chronically aroused nervous system that over the years tightens up the pelvic muscles. This chronic arousal is the systemic component of the disorders. The local disorder of pain and dysfunction in the pelvis occur because the chronic worry, anxiety, and nervous arousal in certain individuals results in the local spasm, pain, and dysfunction of the pelvic muscles. The Wise-Anderson Protocol has been shown to effectively treat this debilitating condition. The results of this protocol have been documented in a variety of published medical studies including the Journal of Urology and the Clinical Journal of Pain. A complete description of the method of the Wise-Anderson Protocol is found in the 6th Edition of the popular book on the subject, “A Headache in the Pelvis”.
The classic symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction involve discomfort or pain in a variety of places. While rarely does someone with pelvic floor dysfunction have all of these symptoms, the symptoms can be experienced in the lower abdomen, genitals, perineum and anorectal area, often worsened by sitting; urinary urgency, frequency. Discomfort/pain and dysfunction related to sexual intimacy is common. Accompanying anxiety, depression, reduction in libido and self-esteem are also common. Conventional treatment – drugs, procedures, injections, nerve blocks, surgery – tend to be of little help. Surgery often complicates symptoms.
The Wise-Anderson Protocol devotes a 6-day clinic to teaching patients to treat both the local and systemic aspects of these disorders. Patients are trained with the only FDA-approved (2012) internal trigger point wand which has been shown to be effective in patients for internal physical therapy (also known as internal trigger point release). While the physical therapy self-treatment aspect of the Wise-Anderson Protocol comprises an essential component of the method, a carefully designed behavioral program called Paradoxical Relaxation is used in conjunction with the physical therapy protocol to help regularly reduce anxiety and nervous arousal.
David Wise, PhD is CEO of New Pelvic Pain Technologies Inc., a San Francisco-based company devoted to research and the treatment of chronic pelvic pain syndromes. Dr. Wise is a psychologist in California, who has been a plenary speaker at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) seminar on prostatitis and has presented the Wise-Anderson Protocol at the American Urological Association, the American Physical Therapy Association, and the International Continence Society, among other professional groups. He is the co-author of a bestselling book ‘A Headache in the Pelvis’ along with his co-author Dr. Rodney U. Anderson, MD, Urology Professor Emeritus at Stanford University School of Medicine.