About Physiatry

About Physiatry

Do you work with an institution or company looking to learn more about Physiatry?

Learn more about partnerships with AAPM&R.

Neurogenic Bladder

Condition: Neurogenic bladder means that bladder problems are caused by problems in the brain or nerves. 

Background: Neurogenic bladder causes people to lose control of urination. The type of problem a person has depends on where the damage is in the brain or nervous system.

Risk Factors: Strokes, brain or spinal cord injury, or diseases of the brain or spinal cord such as infections, cancer, and multiple sclerosis can all cause neurogenic bladder. It can also be caused by other diseases that cause nerve damage, such as diabetes. 

History and Symptoms: Symptoms include not being able to stop the flow of urine, feeling the urge or straining to urinate, or not completely emptying the bladder. There may also be a history of urinary tract infections (UTIs).        

Physical Exam: The doctor will test sensations and reflexes in the muscles around the lower abdomen and pelvis. Tests of thinking and memory may also be done.

Diagnostic Process: Tests of blood and urine are done to look for infections or problems with the kidneys. Ultrasound imaging of the bladder and kidneys may also be done. Other tests can be used to study pressure in the urinary tract and electrical activity in the muscles and nerves that control urination.

Rehab Management: The goals of treatment are to prevent urinary tract infections or other problems in the urinary tract and gain better control over urination. Antibiotics and drugs that slow activity of muscles around the bladder may be helpful. Behavior changes such as going to the toilet on a regular schedule and drinking less at certain times of day may also help. Exercises can help strengthen muscles involved in urination. Sometimes surgery or catheters are needed.       

Other Resources for Patients and Families: Family support can help patients stick to their treatment plan.  

For Patients and Families:

View all Conditions & Treatments
Learn more about Physiatry

Find a Physician


Read the full PM&R Knowledge NOW® article at:

PM&R Knowledge NOW® Authors Needed

Participate in the development of PM&R Knowledge NOW® by applying to be an author of a 1,700-word summary of a clinical topic.

View a list of available topics and learn more about how to apply. Volunteering your time and expertise to is a great way to get published and recognized among your peers as a participant in this ground-breaking initiative!