Spinal disorders and injuries could cause a nerve injury through compression or damage, causing Neurogenic Bladder Dysfunction, also known as Bladder Dysfunction. Neurogenic bladder disorder means an individual is having problems with urination.
Neurogenic involves the nervous system and the nerve tissues that supply and stimulate the organs and muscles to function and operate correctly. Neurogenic bladder dysfunction causes the nerves that control the bladder and muscles in urination to be overactive or underactive.
The brain and spinal cord function as the headquarters, with the spine as the body’s highway that transmits and relays signals/messages to and from the bladder. In the low back, the spinal cord splits apart into a bundle of nerves called the cauda equina.
The sacrum is at the end of the lumbar spine; this area is known as the sacral spine. The sacrum is the backside of the pelvis between the hip bones. The nerves in the sacral spine branch out and become part of the peripheral nervous system.
These nerves provide and stimulate bladder sensation and function. When these nerves become compressed, inflamed, injured, or damaged somehow, organ dysfunction can present. This is when any of the symptoms listed above can develop and progress.
Spinal Cord Injury/s are a common cause of neurogenic bladder dysfunction. The spinal cord does not have to be severed to cause paralysis below the injured part of the spine. If the spinal cord gets bruised, improper blood flow can result. the spinal cord’s ability to send nerve signals can become inhibited. Cauda Equina Syndrome happens when the nerves’ spinal roots become pinched or compressed. It is rare, but it is a serious medical condition that requires immediate medical attention. Causes of cauda equina syndrome include:
The treatment depends on the cause or causes of neurogenic bladder dysfunction. A primary physician could call upon a bladder specialist like a urologist, nephrologist, or urogynecologist to collaborate and coordinate the treatment plan. If a nerve root compression causes the dysfunction, a spinal procedure (discectomy) is performed to decompress and relieve the pressure on the nerves.
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*
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