by Dr. Stephen Dobelbower
The nerves to the bladder are located in the lower back. The last five vertebrae of the spine are called the lumbar spine and they house the nerve roots to the bladder. The spinal nerves exit between these vertebrae and the spinal nerve to the bladder, L3, exits between the third and the fourth lumbar vertebrae.
Chiropractors have noticed for many years that if the lower vertebrae are out of alignment the patient often complains of symptoms associated with frequent bladder problems. When lower back vertebrae are out of alignment it can cause irritation or inhibition of the nerve(s) and some of those nerves innervate the bladder. Consequently, the bladder and uterus are more irritated on the right side.
When we need to use the bathroom to void and there isn’t a bathroom around, we use our bladder sphincter muscles to hold our urine. Our sphincter muscles are controlled by voluntary type nerves. When our bladder expands because of the amount of urine stored in it, the traction on our bladder wall elicits a reflex of fullness. This reflex is an involuntary nervous system controlled function. In a state of bladder dysfunction, we may experience a false fullness in the bladder, meaning that there is not enough urine in our bladders to warn the involuntary or reflex response that gives us the urge to use the bathroom.
When the bladder dysfunction is incontinence, there is the inability to control the urine, meaning the voluntary nerve and sphincter muscles are worn out. Kegel exercises are usually recommended to strengthen the sphincter muscles. Kegel exercises can also be practiced preventively to keep the bladder young.
Chiropractic adjustment to the third lumbar (in the low back), for voluntary bladder function, and to the sacrum (the triangular shaped bone at the base of the spine), for the involuntary bladder function can help to balance overall bladder health. Yet, other vertebrae adjustments also help. For example, when the lumbar tree and sacrum cannot be adjusted, because of a malfunctioning of these joints, the chiropractor knows back-up mechanisms, such as to adjust the first vertebra in the neck and dorsal number three, the third vertebra in the middle back. These adjustments will also aid in balancing the bladder.
To learn more or would like to address a bladder or other health concern, schedule a consultation with Dr Dobelbower at 406.222.9373 to see if Chiropractic care can help.