Why does my chiropractor care about my bladder?

Why does my chiropractor care about my bladder?

“Why does my chiropractor care about my bladder? ” Recently while taking a history from a new patient, which included a review of various body functions, including bowel and bladder movements, the patient wondered aloud, “ I’m here for my back why do you care about my bowel and bladder movements”?

On the surface it may seem like an odd question from one who’s known for dealing with back, neck and other musculoskeletal conditions, but there’s a very good explanation , I swear.

Most lower back pain is what’s termed Non-specific Mechanical back pain. This type of back pain is very common and most of us will experience it at some point throughout our lifetime. This type of back pain is typically an injury to any one or more of lower back muscles, joints or ligaments. Here there is no involvement of the spinal discs or nerve involvement.

In some cases as I’ve described in previous blogs, the injury is to one of the spinal discs, or intervertebral discs. Infrequently one of these disc injuries causes compression to nerves that control sphincter muscles (muscles that open/close) of the bladder and bowel. This complication called “ Cauda Equina Syndrome” occurs in only 1-3% of disc injuries, mostly to men in their 40s or 50s who have had a history of chronic low back pain or who were born with a narrow spinal canal.

Thus this syndrome if present with lower back pain may produce symptoms related to bowel and bladder function and numbness in the saddle area ( the area of your body that would touch a saddle if you were riding a horse). Bladder symptoms could be things like, inability to stop or start a urine stream, the feeling of urgency for urination or incomplete bladder emptying. Bowel symptoms might include constipation, loss of bowel control or inability to feel when you need to move the bowel or that you have already moved your bowel.

This syndrome is a medical emergency and requires immediate surgery and even if a surgical intervention is performed some of the damage to the nerves may be permanent.

So there you have it, a pretty good reason for a chiropractor to be concerned about your bowel and bladder habits.
For more educational blogs not necessarily about bowel function go to https://yourpickeringchiropractors.caWhy does my chiropractor care about my bladder?

Disc Related Back Pain



What disc related back pain

What is Disc Related Back Pain?

This being my first blog, I wondered what to speak about, however today I saw someone who’s case while not uncommon gave me the motivation to talk today about low back pain related to a herniated intervertebral disc. What is disc related back pain?

What is disc related back pain?

Most back pain, close to 90% is what one would term, “mechanical low back  pain”, mechanical in the sense that it has as its cause a pain generator in  the muscles or joints of the lower back. This type of back pain while extremely painful and debilitating is uncomplicated and will resolve with treatment in less than 6 weeks in most cases.

Disc related back pain is another matter. The intervertebral (spinal bones) discs are located in between the bones of the spine, they allow for movement and if you imagine are like a jelly donut, firm on the outside and well jelly-like on the inside. In some cases with improper stresses, twisting while bending and lifting either in one event or repeated can cause a weakening of the outer wall of the disc and result in either a bulging outward of the disc or a rupture causing the jelly to come out.  Your body’s response to this injury will typically initially back pain, muscle spasm, you may look crooked, tipped off to one side, movement in any direction will be limited and painful. Days to a week or so later you may then start to have screaming leg pain down the back of one leg, this tends to be worse than the back pain.

Disc injuries can resolve on their own with conservative chiropractic treatment, the majority  in 12 weeks to a year. Your family physician may prescribe some anti-inflammatory medication and order a special test called a MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) for a look at how the disc is impacting your nervous system. Regular x-rays  are of little use in a case like this.

Chiropractic treatment will help with pain control, muscle spasm and help to keep you moving. I will give you exercises to help with the pain as well. As a chiropractor I will also monitor your nervous system’s response to the injury and make the appropriate referral back to your family physician should the condition worsen.

Surgery is usually a last resort, but will help if the health of the nerve is compromised.

If you know of any one with back pain of any sort have them call for an appointment and get them some help.

Dr. Kevin Finn

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