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Bladder spasms

Bladder spasm is a condition in which there is a sudden urge to urinate. Bladder spasms are associated with a medical condition called as urinary incontinence. Urinary incontinence is a condition where there is lack of bladder control. Older persons experience this condition because of the weakened muscular system and its functionality. Urinary incontinence which is caused by spasms that occur in the urinary bladder and is also associated with the control coordination maintained by the nervous system. In this condition the muscles that are associated with the urinary bladder and the nerves are impaired.

Bladder spasms also occur during pregnancy. This is caused as the fetus pushes the urinary bladder down initiating the urge to urinate frequently. Childbirth can also be associated with urinary leakage. In addition, conditions such as constipation and menopause also initiate the onset of bladder spasms which may result in urinary incontinence. Bladder spasms can also occur because of an overactive urinary bladder. This condition may occur in some people suddenly when they see or touch running water, drink water or even during their sleep.

Bladder control develops in children at a very young age and any delay associated with this development may lead to nocturnal urination. Urinary incontinence can also occur because of stress such as coughing, increased abdominal pressure and also during intense laughter. Urinary incontinence can be a result of underlying nervous system disorders such as Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis. Other factors that may lead to urinary incontinence include trauma caused in the bladder region, infections of the urinary tract and also increased caffeine and alcohol intake or benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Diagnosis of bladder spasms

Diagnosis of urinary incontinence and associated bladder spasms is done by examining the history of the patient in association with the diet and lifestyle. Many people do not explain the incidences of urinary incontinence. Hence a thorough examination of the patient history is mandatory to evaluate the causes for the urinary incontinence. Urine cultures are suggested if the patient has a history of recurrent urinary tract infections. Patients are also advised to calculate the amount of fluid intake and relate it to the number of times they pass urine. Ultrasound and CT examination is done to identify underlying disorders of the prostate gland and also detect any kind of abnormal growth in the urinary bladder.

Treatment for Bladder spasms

Bladder spasms and associated urinary incontinence is a treatable condition. In case of muscular impairment, exercises pertaining to pelvic muscles are suggested to strengthen the muscles. Drugs such as alpha blockers, anti-depressants are suggested to reduce urinary incontinence. Bladder spasms are treated by administering anti-spasmodics such as propantheline. Surgical interventions are also done to treat urinary incontinence. Some of the procedures include the administration of artificial sphincter, male sling in some patients have also shown good results. Urinary diversion is suggested in case of bladder functionality loss or even damage. In this case an alternative pathway is made for the disposal of urine after the removal of the damaged urinary bladder.

Incontinence

Loss of bladder control is referred to as urinary incontinence. Urinary incontinence occurs if the bladder muscles suddenly contract or muscles surrounding the urethra suddenly relax. Women experience urinary incontinence twice as often as men. Various factors like pregnancy and childbirth, menopause and the structure of the female urinary tract account for this difference.


Causes of urinary incontinence

Drinking a lot of fluid or any other beverages in a short period of time increases the amount of urine in the bladder which results in urinary incontinence. Alcohol causes the bladder to fill quickly and triggers an urgent and uncontrollable urination. Alcohol also temporarily impairs the ability to recognize the need to urinate and act in a timely manner.

Sedatives such as sleeping pills can interfere with your ability to control bladder function. Water pills like diuretics, muscle relaxants and antidepressants can cause an increase in urinary incontinence. High blood pressure drugs, heart medications and cold medicines also affect the urinary bladder function.

Urinary tract infection can cause bladder irritation and even incontinence. Consuming foods and beverages that irritate your bladder like carbonated drinks, tea and coffee may cause episodes of urge incontinence.

Tackling urinary incontinence

Exercises help to strengthen pelvic floor muscles and sphincter muscles. Electrical stimulation is used to reduce stress incontinence and urge incontinence. Hormones such as estrogen cause muscles involves in urination to function normally. Surgery is suggested to alleviate incontinence only after other methods and treatments have failed.


Biofeedback Training

Biofeedback training is a process wherein the patient is trained to improve his/her health by using signals from his/her own body. It helps a person control physiological processes such as blood pressure, heart rate and muscle tension. These processes actually are involuntary but can be manipulated and controlled at will. Biofeedback therapy is used to treat conditions such as migraine headache, tension headache, urinary incontinence, high blood pressure, chronic pain, etc.


The concept behind biofeedback training is very interesting. It utilizes the power of the mind to become aware of what is happening within the body. This awareness helps a person to gain more control over bodily functions, involuntary ones too. This therapy works wonders on people experiencing stress. Stress can cause fluctuations in blood pressure and biofeedback therapy aids in relaxation.


Electrodes are attached to the patient's skin, which sends information to the monitor. Based on the monitor reading, the therapist understands the mental activities of the patient. The parameters that are monitored include blood pressure, sweating, breathing rate, and muscle activity. If a patient is experiencing stress at a particular moment the above mentioned parameters may alter. Understanding this alteration can help understand which part of the body needs to relax.


Depending on the severity of the issue, the number of sessions may vary. A session may typically last from 30 minutes to one hour. Biofeedback therapy does not have any side effects or pose any risk and is a non-invasive procedure. To undertake a session in biofeedback therapy, it is advisable to work with a health care professional trained in biofeedback.


Biofeedback therapy uses

Biofeedback therapy can be used to treat:

Chronic pain: Helps in identifying tight muscles and relaxing them, relieves lower back pain, abdominal pain, etc. This therapy benefits people across all age groups.

Anxiety: Anxiety relief is one huge area wherein biofeedback therapy can be very helpful. The therapy helps understand the body's responses when a person is stressed and anxious. By understanding this, one can control body response using biofeedback therapy.

Urinary incontinence: People may have trouble in controlling the urge to urinate. This therapy, particularly in women helps in tightening the pelvic floor muscles that control the urge/feeling to urinate. It is helpful in treating kids who bed wet.

Headache: Stress and muscle tension can cause headaches like migraine and other types of headache. This therapy can help relax the muscles and reduce frequency as well as severity of the headache.


Other conditions that can be cured using biofeedback therapy include ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), asthma, constipation, rheumatoid arthritis, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), high blood pressure, etc. Different relaxation exercises used in biofeedback therapy:


  • Deep breathing

  • Guided imagery: Concentrating on a specific image and focusing on the image to make the person feel relaxed.

  • Progressive muscle relaxation: Alternately tightening and relaxing various muscle groups.

  • Mindfulness meditation: Focusing thoughts to let go of negative emotions.

Biofeedback therapy types

Neuro feedback: Used to measure brain wave feedback. Used to treat epilepsy and other seizure disorders.

Thermal biofeedback: Used to measure skin temperature. Used to treat headache and Raynaud's disease.

Electromyography: Used to measure muscle activity and tension. Used to treat conditions such as headaches, back pain, anxiety disorder, incontinence, muscle retraining after injury.

Electrodermal activity: Used to measure sweating and can be used in pain and anxiety.


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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: June 20, 2019