The Link Between Back Pain and Incontinence

Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: July 18, 2019

Back Pain & Incontinence

Spine pain is one of the most common conditions that people deal with as they get older, but when it’s coupled with incontinence, it’s a bigger cause for concern. Both of these conditions can develop independent of one another, but when they happen at the same time, it’s often time to visit a spine specialist. Below, we take a closer look at some of the conditions that could be causing your spine pain and incontinence.

Back Pain and Incontinence

Incontinence is a health condition that inhibits a person’s ability to control how their body passes stool or urine. It’s a serious issue that can lead to other health problems, so if you’re dealing with incontinence, reach out to a doctor. If the condition is developing alongside spinal discomfort, you may be dealing with a condition called cauda equina syndrome (CES).

Cauda equina syndrome is a condition that develops due to compression or pressure on the cauda equina, which is the bundle of nerves in the lower spine that relays sensations to the groin area. When this area gets impinged, back pain and urinary dysfunction are common. In fact, in a small survey in the European Spine Journal, 92 percent of patients with cauda equina syndrome reported urinary incontinence or dysfunction.

The link between the two conditions is more evident when we take a look at the causes of cauda equina nerve compression. The most common cause of CES is a herniated disk in the lumbar spine. As we’ve talked about extensively on the blog in the past, a herniated or bulging disc often causes symptoms of back pain, pain with movement or shooting nerve pain. So if you’re dealing with incontinence and back pain, have a spine specialist examine your back to see if a herniated disc is the root cause of trouble.

It’s also worth noting that a herniated disc is not the only reason for the onset of cauda equina syndrome. Other potential causes of CES include:

  • The development of an abscess in the epidural or spinal spaces near the spinal cord.
  • An epidural hematoma, which is a buildup of blood in the epidural space of the spine that leads to nerve compression.
  • The growth of a spinal tumor that compresses nearby structures.

These are some of the most common conditions that spine specialists will look for if a patient is presenting with spine pain and incontinence, but they will also look for other conditions outside of cauda equina. Some other health issues that can present with symptoms of back pain and incontinence include kidney stones, problems with artery walls inside the abdomen and certain spinal cord injuries.

Minnesota Back Pain Doctor

Dr. Sinicropi and his team will get to the bottom of your discomfort and can help you get back on the path to full health. If it’s a spinal issue like a herniated disc or spinal cord injury, you can trust your care to Dr. Sinicropi and his experienced medical team. If a kidney stone or artery issue would be best handled by another specialist, Dr. Sinicropi has a number of medical colleagues would are experts in their field who can provide you with the right care. So if incontinence has developed alongside your back pain, make sure you do the right thing for your health and reach out to Dr. Sinicropi’s office today.


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