When Should I See My Healthcare Provider About Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain usually gets better with rest and pain relievers. Back pain that doesnt go away may be a sign of a more serious condition.
See your provider if you have:
- Pain that doesnt get better after about a week of at-home care.
- Tingling, numbness, weakness or pain in your buttocks or legs.
- Severe pain or muscle spasms that interfere with your normal activities.
- Fever, weight loss, bowel or bladder problems or other unexplained symptoms.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Millions of people live with low back pain. Stiffness, pain and limited movement can have a major impact on quality of life. But you may be able to avoid lower back pain by maintaining a healthy weight and staying active. Talk to your provider if back pain doesnt go away or if youre unable to do the activities you enjoy. Several treatments can relieve pain, help you move better and get more out of life.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/18/2021.
Preventing Pressure On Bladder
The best way to treat bladder pressure is to avoid experiencing it in the first place. Below are some tips to help prevent infections, and in turn, pressure on the bladder.
Underwear: Wearing loose, comfortable, cotton underwear prevents bacteria from being trapped near the urethra and causing an infection.
Shower: Showering rather than bathing reduces your risk of getting an infection, as the warm water of the tub is great for bacteria and the soap can wash away any protective mucous membranes.
Dont hold it: If you have the urge to urinate, do so as soon as you can. Holding urine in your bladder can create a breeding ground for bacteria, which leads to infection.
Water: Drinking plenty of water helps to flush your system and can reduce the risk of getting a bacterial infection.
While pressure on the bladder has a variety of causes that can vary by sex, most are not very serious and can be treated easily. However, it is important to seek the advice of a healthcare professional if you are experiencing bladder pressure so that its cause can be accurately diagnosed and appropriately treated before your condition worsens.
Can Back Conditions Like Stenosis Cause Problems Like Incontinence And Urinary Urgency
Absent some sort of trauma, when someone starts developing back pain or numbness or tingling sensations in their lower limbs, lumbar spinal stenosis is one of the first things their physician will look for. Stenosis of the spine is the result of a narrowing within the spinal column that allows abnormal pressure to be placed on the nerves that run through the spine.
Spinal stenosis is yet another one of those conditions that has its risk factor increased with age. In fact, even though younger people are susceptible due to accidents and trauma, as well as inherited potential for diseases like scoliosis, most people who develop stenosis have passed their 50th birthday. Another aspect to growing older that so many of us look forward to is the prospect of bladder issues, such as incontinence, urinary urgency and other related issues. What a lot of people do not realize is that lumbar spinal stenosis and bladder issues may be related.
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Where Does Sciatica Originate In The Lower Back
The sciatic nerves branches from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg. Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which branches from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg. Typically, sciatica affects only one side of your body.
This is sometimes seen when sciatica sufferers take large doses of medications for their pain and other health issues together. Urinary or bowel infection may lead to incontinence. Hemorrhoids or constipation may factor into minor incontinence issues, as may systemic illness of varying severities.
There are many different causes that can trigger both lower back pain and frequent urination, including: Kidney problems: The kidneys are located around your lower back and are off to each side. Kidney problems may begin as pain in the lower back and travel to the abdomen.
Cauda Equina Syndrome And Incontinence
Cauda equina syndrome is a condition that causes squeezing or compression in the cauda equina sac of nerves at the base of the spinal cord, resulting in lower back pain and urinary incontinence. As the nerves are pinched, they are unable to properly function and may result in the involuntary loss of urine.
Cauda equina symptoms include weakness in the legs, numbness or tingling in the lower back and legs, and incontinence.
In some cases, cauda equina can be treated by surgically decompressing the spine, depending on the extent of damage involved with the nerve tissue.
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What Causes Bladder Pressure
Doctors arent sure what exactly causes IC. What they do know is that the bladder normally fills and then tells your brain to use the bathroom. It communicates this through the nerves in your body.
With IC, these signals get mixed up. You may feel like you need to urinate more frequently but without a lot of urine at each bathroom trip.
Bladder pressure may also be caused by:
- a defect in the lining of the bladder
- an autoimmune reaction
IC is more common in women than in men. Some people who have IC, also have other health issues such as irritable bowel syndrome and fibromyalgia. Other pain syndromes are also possible.
People who have both fair skin and red hair also have a greater risk of IC.
IC is primarily diagnosed in people in their 30s or older.
How Is Bps Diagnosed
There is no single test to diagnose BPS . You may have several tests to exclude other causes of your symptoms before a diagnosis can be confirmed.
The tests offered may include:
- cystoscopy a procedure to look inside your bladder using a thin camera called a cystoscope
- urine tests
Ask your doctor to explain what tests you are being offered and what they’re for.
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Does An Inflamed Gallbladder Cause Back Pain
Since the gallbladder is located in the upper-right quadrant of the abdomen, people suffering from this condition often suffer from upper-right abdominal pain. However, its not necessary that the pain remains restricted to the upper-right quadrant, where the gallbladder is located. At times, pain could be felt at a place other than the place of its origin. This explains why many people suffering from gallbladder disease complain about back pain. It is quite common for people suffering from an inflamed gallbladder to experience back pain. Pain may even radiate to the right shoulder or between the shoulder blades. Most patients complain about experiencing severe abdominal pain or referred pain in the lower back, soon after the ingestion of cholesterol-rich foods. Such episodes of severe pain, which are also referred to as gallbladder attacks, may occur due to decreased tolerance or intolerance to fatty foods.
Ways To Relieve Bowel Problems And Low Back Pain
Is there any relief for bowel problems and back pain?
The simple answer is yes. The more complicated answer, however, is it depends.
There are therapies that can relieve the pain, but more may be needed to cure the problem once the source has been pinpointed.
If youre experiencing severe pain, seek immediate medical attention right away.
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Remedies For Uti Due To Constipation
The infection should be treated with a suitable antibiotic. You should see your doctor and get an antibiotic.
Drinking plenty of water will produce enough urine flow and help clear the infection.
Reducing the acidity of the urine can help control the infection and reduce the symptoms. There are many over the counter preparations available such as Ural, Citralite, and Citravescent.
Want a home remedy? Then try cranberry juice. Studies show that drinking cranberry juice can help prevent UTI. However, cranberry juice is not enough to treat a full-blown bladder infection.
Relieving your constipation is one of the top priorities in the treatment. Taking an over the counter laxative can be a quick fix for your problem.
To get a long term relief, you should eat fiber-rich foods. Alternatively, you can use a fiber supplement such as Metamucil.
Interstitial Cystitis: A Severe Form Of Bladder Pain Syndrome
More than three million American women live with pelvic pain related to interstitial cystitis, a condition in which the bladder wall becomes irritated and inflamed, according to the NIDDK. Interstitial cystitis is a severe form of bladder pain syndrome, Siddiqui says.
Bladder discomfort from interstitial cystitis may range from tenderness to severe pain, according to the institute. Another clue that interstitial cystitis is the culprit: Menstruation tends to worsen bladder pain.
Interstitial cystitis is not caused by a urinary tract infection, although the symptoms may worsen if you have interstitial cystitis and get a UTI. While the cause is not understood, according to the NIDDK, certain events or factors seem to trigger flares in symptoms. These include stress, changes in diet, allergies, and taking certain drugs, among other things.
Treatment options for interstitial cystitis include distending the bladder, taking oral medication, physical therapy, and using electrical nerve stimulation to alleviate pain, but there is no known cure. In severe cases, where other treatments havent worked, sometimes surgery is an option.
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How Is Back Pain While Urinating Treated
Your treatment will be dependent on your diagnosis. For instance, if the reason behind your lower back pain when urinating is a UTI, you will need to take medication to resolve the UTI. On the other hand, if the cause of the discomfort is a tumor, abscess, or kidney stones, surgery could be necessary.
For alleviating back pain specifically, therapeutic options might include:
You have an unusual discharge from your vagina or penis
Pain and frequent urination are making it hard to go about your day
What Are The Symptoms Of Ic
People with interstitial cystitis have repeat discomfort, pressure, tenderness or pain in the bladder, lower abdomen, and pelvic area. Symptoms vary from person to person, may be mild or severe, and can even change in each person as time goes on.
Symptoms may include a combination of these symptoms:
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When To See A Doctor
If your back pain and frequent urination are accompanied by vomiting, loss of bowel control, shaking chills, blood in the urine, cloudy urine, or unusual discharge from your penis or vagina, then you should see a doctor.
If you dont experience any of these additional symptoms, but your back pain and frequent need to urinate interferes with your daily activities, then we also recommend you visit a doctor.
When Should You See A Doctor
Stomach bloating and lower back pain often go away on their own or are alleviated through OTC medication and home remedies. However, you should consult with your healthcare provider if your symptoms come on suddenly, are unexplained, or are persistent and severe enough that they interfere with your daily activities.
Stomach bloating and/or lower back pain may indicate a serious condition if accompanied by:
Urine that contains blood and/or pus, is cloudy, or foul-smelling
Painful urination or difficulty in urination
If you are pregnant, contact your doctor immediately about any worrisome or unusual symptoms.
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How Do You Know If You Have Kidney Pain
Kidney pain, or renal pain, is usually felt in your back . It can spread to other areas, like the sides, upper abdomen or groin. If you have a kidney stone, you usually feel the pain in your back, side, lower belly or groin.
Back pain due to muscle problems is usually in your lower back. Pain due to kidney problems is usually deeper and higher in your back, under your ribs.
Signs that it is a kidney problem can also include fever, vomiting, pain in your sides or painful urination.
How To Relieve Pressure On The Bladder
There are remedies available to treat bladder pressure depending on its cause. Some of the most common ways to treat bladder pressure are:
Antibiotics: If your bladder pressure is a symptom of a UTI or another form of infection, your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic to treat the infection and relieve the associated symptoms. Cranberry juice. Cranberry juice can help fight UTIs and ease the feeling of pressure on the bladder that they cause.
Water: Drinking a minimum of eight glasses of water daily can help flush any harmful or infection-causing bacteria out of your system, aiding in the treatment of infections that can cause bladder pressure.
Heating pads: Use a heating pad or warm compress on your lower abdomen to soothe muscle spasms that cause pressure on the bladder.
Avoid bladder-irritating drinks: Stay away from drinks that contain caffeine, alcohol, and citrus, as they can irritate the bladder and worsen the sensation of pressure.
Analgesics: Taking an over the counter pain medication like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or aspirin can relieve pain and reduce any swelling associated with bladder pressure.
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How Doctors Diagnose The Cause Of Bladder Pressure
If you have bladder pressure and feel like you need to urinate frequently, its a good idea to make an appointment with your doctor. In some cases, these symptoms may be signs of a UTI. If you truly have IC, your doctor should still be able to help.
Your doctor may ask you to start keeping a log of your symptoms to bring to your appointment. You should write down how much you drink, how much you urinate, and any pain or pressure you experience.
At your appointment, you will first assess your medical history. Theyll also perform a pelvic exam and test a urine sample to rule out infection.
Other tests include:
Cystoscopy: Your doctor will insert a thin tube into your urethra to look at the inside of your bladder. Youll be numbed beforehand, so this procedure shouldnt hurt.
Biopsy: Your doctor will put you under anesthesia. Then, theyll take some tissue from your bladder and urethra for examination. Your doctor will check the tissue for symptoms of bladder cancer and other causes of pain.
Urine cytology: This urine sample test allows your doctor to examine the cells for cancer.
Potassium sensitivity test: After placing water and potassium chloride into your bladder, your doctor will ask you to rate your pain and need to urinate on a scale from 0 to 5. People with normal bladders usually cant tell a difference between the two solutions. If youre more sensitive to the potassium chloride, it may indicate IC.
What Are The Causes Of Cauda Equina Syndrome
Cauda equina syndrome can be caused by any condition that results in direct irritation or pinching of the nerves at the end of the spinal cord. Causes of cauda equina syndrome include herniation of lumbar intervertebral discs, abnormal growths adjacent to the lower spinal cord, localized infection near the spinal cord causing pressure on the spinal cord in the low back.
Localized lumbar tumors that can lead to cauda equine syndrome include ependymomas, metastatic cancer, and Pagetâs disease of bone. Localized infection near the spinal cord can be caused by staphylococcus bacteria, tuberculosis bacteria , and others.
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Lower Back Pain And Frequent Urination Signs And Symptoms
Aside from pain experienced in the lower back and more frequent urination, you may experience bloody or cloudy urine, a constant urge to urinate, pain that moves from the lower back to the groin, difficulty beginning urination or fully emptying the bladder, painful ejaculation, fever, nausea, and vomiting.
How Can The Low Back And The Bladder Be Connected
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The diagram to the left shows the sacral nerves coursing by the L5-S1 disc in the low back. These then head toward the bladder and act as a conduit for bladder sensation. Without any pressure on the nerves, they function normally to allow the sensation from the bladder to reach the brain through these spinal nerves.
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The second diagram to the right shows what happens when an L5-S1 disc bulge or slipped disc places pressure on the sacral nerves. These irritated nerves in turn cause pain in the bladder as well as spasm. They can also make the patient believe the bladder is full when its not. All of this happens because the electrical impulses that represent bladder sensation get disrupted by the irritated sacral nerves.
Whats even more interesting is that only some patients who have bladder burning, spasm, and pain and get diagnosed with interstitial cystitis will have back pain. Many patients dont have that symptom even though the trouble spot is in the spine. So whether you have back pain or not, your sacral nerves being irritated by a disc bulge can still cause bladder issues.
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What Are The Causes And Risk Factors For Back Pain And Incontinence
Certain risk factors increase your chances for experiencing symptoms of both back pain and incontinence. These risk factors include:
- Obesity: Carrying extra weight puts extra pressure on your back. Extra weight also increases pressure on your bladder and nearby muscles. This may lead to stress incontinence, and over time, the extra stress may weaken your bladder muscles.
- Age: Back pain becomes more common with age. Likewise, the muscles that affect bladder control lose strength as you grow older.
- Other diseases: Some conditions, such as arthritis and diabetes, can cause both back pain and incontinence. People with certain psychological conditions, such as anxiety and depression, are also more likely to experience back pain.