Back ache and incontinence can be related in some cases. The most common cause of this combination is a condition called cauda equina syndrome. Cauda equina syndrome occurs when the nerve roots in the lower back become compressed, leading to symptoms such as severe back ache, weakness or numbness in the legs, and difficulty controlling bladder and bowel function.
Other potential causes of back ache and incontinence include spinal cord injury, spinal tumours, spinal stenosis, and certain neurological conditions. It is important to note that not all cases of back ache and incontinence are related, and there can be various causes for each symptom independently.
Some causes of incontinence include frequent urinary track infections (UTIs), constipation, pregnancy, childbirth, and prostate cancer. Back ache has also been studied as a cause of UI.
Researchers think the activation of muscles in your abdomen may trigger back pain. Those muscles may affect your ability to properly hold or release urine. However, more research is needed to determine whether back pain is a cause or a symptom of UI.
The connection between back ache and symptoms of UI is unclear. Some people experience back ache or pressure that can cause episodes of incontinence, but researchers haven't yet pinpointed causes. Mostly symptoms of UI depend on the type you have. The types and symptoms of UI include:
- Stress incontinence: This type of UI is caused by sudden pressure on your bladder. This pressure may be from laughing, sneezing, exercising, or lifting heavy objects.
- Urge incontinence: People with this type of UI experience a sudden, serve urge to urinate. And, they're unable to control the loss of urine. People with this type of incontinence may need to urinate frequently.
- Overflow incontinence: When your bladder doesn't empty fully, you experience dribbling or dripping of urine.
- Functional incontinence: A physical or mental incontinence may affect your ability to reach a toilet in time to urinate.
- Total incontinence: If you're unable to hold urine or prevent passing urine, you may have total incontinence.
- Mixed incontinence: When you are affected by more than one type of UI, you may have mixed incontinence. For example, it's not uncommon for a person to have both stress and urge incontinence.
If you are experiencing back ache and incontinence, it is important to seek medical attention promptly. A healthcare professional can evaluate your symptoms, perform necessary tests, and determine the underlying cause. Treatment options will depend on the specific diagnosis and may include medications, physical therapy, surgery or other interventions.