Bladder spasm is a term used when your urinary bladder contracts or becomes tight. It occurs when the bladder muscles contract. When the spasm continues you feel an urgent urge to pass urine. The urinary bladder has two vital functions; storage of urine and emptying. Urine is stored at low pressure. This means the bladder is in relaxing phase during filling of urine. When the bladder is completely filled with urine, you get urge to pass urine due to smooth muscle contraction of bladder. But sometimes, even if there is less amount of urine, bladder spasms (contraction) occur.This is abnormal and involuntary and results due to certain medical causes. When such situation occurs your bladder is considered to be overactive and the condition is often referred as urge incontinence. Such spasm can lead to leakage of urine. It is sometimes accompanied with cramps and burning during urination. Bladder spasm is extremely distressing because the patient is always fearful about leakage of urine.
Causes of Bladder Spasm:
There are several reasons for bladder spasm. In many conditions bladder contraction can be temporary while some it can be chronic problem in certain conditions.Below are important causes of bladder spasm:
- Urinary tract infection: It is one of the most common causes of bladder spasm. UTI usually develops due to bacterial infection. Aside from spasm of bladder, patient suffering from UTI also has other symptoms such as burning micturition, pain in lower abdomen and pelvis, bloody urine, fever, vomiting, etc.
- Neurological diseases: Certain nervous system diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, spinal cord injury all can have bladder spasm as one of its symptom. It occurs because of the damage to the nerve that carries signals between brain and urinary bladder.
- Diabetes: Patients suffering from diabetes for long period of time often contain of urge incontinence as a result of bladder spasm. Basically it is caused due to damage to the nerves that innervate smooth muscles of bladder from diabetes.
- Prostate enlargement: Prostate enlargement is common after the age of 50 in men. It is called benign prostate hypertrophy (BPH). Patient complains of frequent urination and sudden urge to pass urine in case of BPH.
- Interstitial cystitis: It is a chronic condition causing increased bladder pressure due to involuntary bladder spasm, pain in bladder and occasionally pain in pelvis. In interstitial cystitis the signals get mixed up between brain and bladder nerves. This results in frequent urge to urinate even with less volume of urine in the bladder. It usually affects women more than men.
- Recent pelvic or lower abdominal surgery: People who have undergone recent pelvic surgery may experience bladder spasm.
- Pregnancy or recent delivery: Bladder spasm is also common in pregnant women and those who have delivered recently. The condition is temporary and spasm issue resolves after sometime.
- Medications: Certain medicines used for chemotherapy or medicines used for diuresis, can cause bladder spasm.
- Diet: Eating too much of spicy food, acidic food can irritate the smooth muscles of bladder and trigger bladder spasm.
Treatment for Bladder Spasm:
Bladder spasm is discomforting problem for the patient. Person suffering from this problem must consult his physician. There are several prescription medicines that help to reduce bladder spasm caused due to several health conditions. Depending on the cause, certain home remedies can also complement conventional treatment. Besides they do not have any side effects. Here are some of the treatment options available:
- Dietary Changes: Avoid foods that irritate bladder muscles. Avoid coffee, alcohol, spicy and acidic food when you have bladder spasm problem.
- Kegels Exercise: It is pelvic floor exercise that helps to strengthen the muscles of pelvis which help in holding urine for longer time.
- Relieve Stress: Often stress is blamed to aggravate bladder spasm. If you are stressed, practice yoga, meditation and other relaxing techniques.
- Bladder Training: It is a technique that involves proper training of urine voidance.
- TENS: Trans-cutaneous electrical nerve stimulation is a therapy involving release of stimulating signals from skin to the bladder. The signals are meant to increase blood flow to the bladder muscles to make them stronger.
- Crataeva: This herb helps to strengthen the bladder muscles and reduce spasm. It increases proper flow of urine and helps the bladder to completely empty.
- Magnesium: The mineral magnesium is particularly beneficial for overall muscle health. This also includes bladder wall muscles. Eat foods that are high in magnesium such as figs, avocado, banana, peas, broccoli, fish etc.