The inability to control your bladder can lead to numerous uncomfortable situations. You may think it easier to stay inside rather than face the prospect of a potentially embarrassing situation, leading to a decline in your social life. However, doctors and specialists at the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation are ready to help you improve your bladder function and return you to an active and healthy life.
What is Neurogenic Bladder?
Neurogenic bladder is a urologic condition in which a person is not able to control their bladder.
What causes neurogenic bladder?
Trauma, certain diseases of the brain and spine, such as spina bifida and cerebral palsy, or problems at birth can damage the nerves of the bladder, disrupting the messages that flow back and forth between brain and bladder.
Neurogenic Bladder Symptoms
This disruption creates neurogenic bladder, in which the bladder might:
- Not hold urine
- Not empty completely
Symptoms of neurogenic bladder vary depending on the person and reason for nerve damage. However, if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms or an overactive or underactive bladder, make an appointment with a physiatrist to test for neurogenic bladder.
Renal disease: A symptom-free health problem
One possible complication of neurogenic bladder is renal (kidney) disease. Renal disease is often silent, allowing health problems to develop with no outward symptoms, leading to:
- Increased fluid retention
- Cardiac problems
- Kidney failure, requiring dialysis
Other complications or symptoms that can arise due to neurogenic bladder include urinary tract infections (UTI’s) and pressure sores.
Testing for Neurogenic Bladder
The doctors at the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) use many testing methods to diagnose and develop a comprehensive treatment plan. They partner with the experts at the Department of Urology.
Tests for diagnosing neurogenic bladder may include:
- Bladder x-rays (cystograms)
- Renal sonograms (ultrasounds)
- Cystoscopy to look for stones or abnormal tissue
- Urodynamic bladder function studies
- Laboratory studies of urine samples
Treating Neurogenic Bladder
There are a variety of treatments available to help manage neurogenic bladder. Treatment plans may include:
- Changing your diet
- Keeping a record of urination
- Prescribed medication
- Surgery (in some cases)
Your physician will work alongside you to provide the best course of action to manage your neurogenic bladder.
Our experts decide on the best treatment regimen based on your:
- General health
- Medical history
- The underlying cause of the neurogenic bladder
- Whether your bladder is overactive or underactive