Research | Queen’s University Canada

J. Curtis Nickel

J. Curtis Nickel

Developing new ways to diagnose and treat chronic pelvic pain and inflammation, restoring quality of life to millions of Canadians who currently suffer from this painful condition, and ensuring health dollars are spent wisely when treating this problem.

[Dr. Curtis Nickel]
Former Canada Research Chair in Urologic Pain and Inflammation
Tier 1

Chronic Pelvic Pain: Out of Sight, But Never Out of Mind

It’s one of those things that no one really wants to talk about, which may also explain why we really don’t understand it. But for more than eight per cent of men and three per cent of women, an inflamed prostate or bladder has serious consequences, significantly diminishing their quality of life, and sometimes leading to even more serious conditions.

As Canada Research Chair in Urologic Pain and Inflammation, Dr. Curtis Nickel is conducting a thorough, and long overdue, study of chronic pelvic pain and inflammation, often called chronic prostatitis and interstitial cystitis, more commonly known as painful bladder syndrome. His work has special importance for an aging population, particularly older men, many of whom will experience distressing urinary systems caused by an enlarged prostate.

Nickel’s work, which is already helping patients and doctors, involves further developing an improved system to identify and classify these conditions. This will allow for better diagnosis, and, more importantly, better monitoring of treatment. This monitoring could save millions of dollars, and is already confirming that many current treatments, despite being widely recommended, are not, in fact, widely successful.

Nickel will also work with fellow Queen’s University researchers to develop and pilot new treatments. Because this area of study is just now being developed, these studies will be wide-ranging, investigating treatments that focus on the nervous and immune systems; that involve hormone, physio- and psychotherapy; and that use sexual therapy and non-traditional therapies like herbal medicine.

Urological pain and inflammation currently rob millions of Canadians of their quality of life, and, left unchecked, promise to become an even bigger problem as our population ages. Using this thorough, evidence-based approach, Nickel will ensure public health dollars are spent wisely, and will help reduce the most suffering, when addressing these painful conditions.