In the last several decades, it has been discovered that myofascial trigger points, taut bands of painful muscle, are central sites of pain in many men and women suffering with a variety of pelvic floor pain syndromes. Over this period of time a growing number of physical therapists have treated these trigger points internally with patients who suffer from pelvic pain. In 2012, the FDA approved the first internal trigger point wand invented by David Wise, PhD, one of the co-developers of the Wise-Anderson Protocol. This device allows patients to do internal trigger point release themselves, after they have been trained in its use to release internal pelvic floor trigger points.
Research over the past 10 years has documented that a large number of men diagnosed with prostatitis are actually suffering from a pelvic muscle disorder, not infection or pathology of the prostate gland. It is common for symptoms of urinary dysfunction, pelvic floor pain, and sexual dysfunction to be diagnosed as a prostate infection and are treated with antibiotics and alpha blockers or anti-inflammatories, often without checking for the presence of infection. In evidence over the past several decades, published studies by the team that developed the Wise-Anderson Protocol, symptoms of what is diagnosed as prostatitis do not reflect prostate pathology but in fact dysfunction of the pelvic floor musculature, normally caused by chronic tightening of the muscles in the area over time.
Untreated, pelvic pain/discomfort and dysfunction can continue for many years ruining the sufferers’ quality of life. The Wise-Anderson Protocol was developed to train patients to physically release the pelvic floor related trigger points, areas of spasm and painful muscle contraction, related to the dysfunction of the pelvic floor muscles. This is done both externally and internally. Training in the Wise-Anderson Protocol is done over a period of six days of intensive treatment and training, followed by many months of self-administered physical therapy. A clinical trial of 393 patients between 2008 and 2011 documented that patients had a significant reduction in symptoms after six months.
A part of the Wise-Anderson Protocol trains patients in the use of the Internal Trigger Point Wand to release trigger points and areas of muscle restriction within the pelvic floor. A number of studies have shown that conventional medications such as alpha-blockers, anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics typically fail to relieve symptoms of what is typically called prostatitis. Conventional remedies of medications, surgery, procedures, and nerve blocks rarely help. Conventional physical therapy can offer some temporary relief, but it is usually given without addressing the underlying chronically heightened level of anxiety and nervous arousal, which is characteristic of the condition.
Developed between 1995 and 2003 by Rodney Anderson, MD and David Wise, PhD, with continued development to the present, the Wise-Anderson Protocol has been used to treat patients suffering with diagnoses of prostatitis, chronic pelvic pain syndrome, levator ani syndrome, interstitial cystitis, pudendal neuralgia, coccydynia, chronic proctalgia, and pelvic floor dysfunction. The methodology of the Wise-Anderson Protocol incorporates two components – Extended Paradoxical Relaxation, a technique developed to help patients with chronic pelvic pain reduce their level of nervous system arousal, in conjunction with self-administered internal and external trigger point release. These methods aim to treat both the local and systemic aspects of these pelvic pain disorders. The Internal Trigger Point Wand is currently the only FDA-approved device for self-treatment to release internal trigger points.
The Wise-Anderson Protocol has been documented to significantly help a majority of patients who have been trained in it. Results of this methodology have been presented at the International Continence Society, the American Urological Association, and the American Physical Therapy Association, among other professional groups. Dr. Wise, who suffered from pelvic pain for over 20 years co-authored the best-selling book A Headache in the Pelvis, now in its 6th edition, with Dr. Anderson, MD, Urology Professor Emeritus of Urology at Stanford University School of Medicine.