The human neck is fascinating. Along with the spinal cord, it’s strong enough to hold you up — with the help of surrounding muscles of course — as you stroll through life. Yet at the same time, it’s fragile.
Damage to your neck can affect parts of your body that you may not have considered, like your bladder.
At Houston Pain Specialists, board-certified pain management specialist and anesthesiologist Hui Kang, MD, has the expertise to diagnose and treat the cause of your neck pain. In this blog, we discuss the link between your neck and your bladder.
The neck bone’s connected to the …
Your neck contains several important structures, including but certainly not limited to the seven cervical vertebrae, the enclosed spinal cord, and the spinal canal.
The spinal canal is formed by the bones of your spine and protects your spinal cord, which is a big bundle of nerves that allows you to move, feel, and control important bodily functions like bladder and bowel control.
If any kind of damage occurs in this area, your bladder, among other organs, can be affected.
Cervical spinal stenosis
In the case of cervical spinal stenosis, the spinal canal narrows and puts pressure on the nerve roots and can even damage the spinal cord.
The compression on the nerves and spinal cord in the cervical spine can change how the functions of the spinal cord work and cause various issues like pain, numbness, and loss of bladder control.
Cervical spinal stenosis most commonly occurs in people ages 50 and up. In rare instances, people may be born with a narrow spinal canal.
Symptoms develop gradually and may not even be noticeable at first. Severe cervical spinal stenosis can be crippling, so being aware of the symptoms and seeking help early can make all the difference. These symptoms include:
- Problems with balance and coordination
- Stiffness, numbness, weakness, or pain in your neck, shoulders, hands, arms, or legs
Spinal cord injury
Injury to your spinal cord can disrupt the communication between your brain and the nerves in your spinal cord that help control bladder function, resulting in incontinence. This dysfunction is called neurogenic bladder. Spinal cord tumors and infection can also cause neurogenic bladder.
If you experience a spinal cord injury, you may develop symptoms of neurogenic bladder, including:
- Urinary tract infections
- Frequent urination
- Inability to completely empty your bladder
- Urinary incontinence
- Kidney stones
Neck pain can be a symptom of many things, but if it doesn’t go away on its own, it could be a sign of something serious.
A simple epidural may be all you need to alleviate your pain or eliminate it all together. In most cases, a cervical epidural could delay or even prevent the need for surgery. But surgical intervention may be necessary in severe cases.
Don’t wait until your case becomes serious. Give our office a call today to schedule an appointment, or contact us using our online form.