Neurogenic Bladder & Bowel Conditions

Neurogenic bladder and bowel occur when nerve damage results in difficulty controlling your bladder or your bowel. This may present as incontinence or an inability to completely empty.  

Common symptoms of neurogenic bladder and bowel conditions: 

  • Urinary incontinence  
  • Urinary retention  
  • Difficulty emptying the bladder or bowel  
  • Frequent or urgent urination  
  • Frequent UTIs  
  • Constipation  
  • Diarrhoea  
  • Faecal incontinence  

What are the causes of neurogenic bladder and bowel?  

Any disease process that impacts the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) can cause neurogenic bladder or bowel symptoms. This may include;  

  • Multiple Sclerosis  
  • Parkinson’s disease  
  • Brain or spinal cord injury  
  • Tumour  
  • Dementia  

How is neurogenic bladder and bowel treated?   

While the underlying cause of symptoms may be due to a disease process that is incurable, this does not mean that you have to put up with these symptoms. The aim of treatment for these symptoms is to prevent complications and improve your quality of life.  

Your physiotherapist may prescribe pelvic floor muscle exercises to improve your ability to control your urine, faeces, and wind. Alternatively, if you are having trouble emptying, your physiotherapist may provide you with relaxation strategies, a regular toileting schedule, and advice to optimise your stool consistency.  

These strategies aim to improve your symptoms and prevent complications arising from your condition.