Back pain is a problem that affects 60-70% of the population at some point within their life according to the World Health Organisation. We are all aware about the most well known symptoms of back pain, but did you know that a new article published in February 2021 found that there was a strong link between lower back pain and urinary incontinence! AND there was the same link between men and women.
So why is there a link between these two problems?
There are many theories in the literature as to why this is the case. However the most widely used and accepted theory looks at the importance of good core control/ coordination during functional movements...what does all that mean?
Basically your core is a mixture of your pelvic floor, diaphragm, muscles of the spine and transverse abdominals. When we do any movement, these muscles all have to work together well to provide a stable base for the movement to occur effectively. When someone has back pain, these back muscles will be working in a different way to usual e.g. be in spasm, limit movement etc. This creates a knock on reaction to the rest of the core, including the pelvic floor which is what causes the change in urinary symptoms.
So if you are suffering from some incontinence issues during your episode of back pain please be confident to let your physiotherapist, osteopath or whoever is treating you know. They will be able to give you advice and guidance to help overcome this symptom, or if not refer you on to someone who can.
PLEASE DON'T FORGET, IF YOU ARE SUDDENLY STRUGGLING TO EMPTY YOUR BLADDER YOU MUST CONTACT YOUR LOCAL EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT IMMEDIATELY.