While medications can be used to treat may medical conditions, sometimes people do not want to be dependent on medications to help them.
They would rather try natural or alternative treatments like herbal remedies or biofeedback.
Biofeedback can be used to help resolve many issues by helping you to learn how to control the body’s responses to pain or re-condition their bodies, such as they would with bladder pain and biofeedback.
What is Biofeedback?
Biofeedback is used to treat many conditions by using instruments to monitor what are normally automatic bodily functions so the patient can learn how to control those functions.
For instance, with bladder pain and biofeedback, patients will learn how to control muscle contractions that can improve bladder function, thereby reducing the occurrences of pain.
It can also be used to help control stress, heart rate and other automatic functions in the body.
The Causes of Bladder Pain
There are many conditions that can cause chronic bladder pain in both men and women, although women are more often affected by bladder issues than men. Some of these conditions are:
- Interstitial Cystitis
- Bladder Infections
- Reproductive System Changes
There are other causes of bladder pain, such as urinary tract infections, but these problems are usually treated with a course of antibiotics and the pain then subsides.
However, with more chronic issues, some people may choose to try an alternative therapy like biofeedback.
Interstitial Cystitis is also called Bladder Pain Syndrome and is caused by inflammation or bladder wall irritation. Someone who has Interstitial Cystitis, or IC, will feel an urgent need to urinate frequently because the condition reduces the amount of urine their bladder holds. This is because the bladder has stiffened due to scars left on it as a result of IC.
Along with an urgent sensation to urinate, which can be as often as 30 times a day or so, people with IC may experience pain and/or pressure in the pelvic region.
The pain may be felt in the lower stomach, the lower back or in the urethra. Some sufferers may also have pain in the genitals, which can also result in pain when having intercourse.
Some people with IC may have a rare ulcer located in their bladder called Hunner’s Ulcer, which may sometimes bleed.
With bladder pain and biofeedback, IC sufferers may be able to find some relief. Biofeedback is often used to help reduce stress, pain, lower blood pressure and help relief urinary incontinence.
Usually, with stress, your blood pressure will rise and this can be used to help give you feedback so you can re-train your body.
A blood pressure monitor with an audible beep or blinking light will be set-up so when your blood pressure goes up, you are alerted to it with the noise or light and can use techniques to help reduce your stress levels.
In this way, you are helping to train your body to reduce stress, which can help reduce the instances of IC because stress will no longer be a trigger.
Bacteria within the bladder, also called cystitis, can cause infections that can cause bladder pain. While most bacteria are flushed out when people urinate, it can also quickly spread and multiple, leading to infections.
Some people may experience bladder infections that happen suddenly, while others suffer from reoccurring bladder infections.
Among the symptoms of a bladder infection are cloudy or bloody urine, the need to urinate more frequently, foul-smelling urine and bladder pain.
The pain associated with bladder infections may also be felt in the back, which is the result of kidney pain.
You will be able to tell it is kidney pain because it will be felt in the middle or on both sides of the back. In addition, you may have a low-grade fever as this can occur with a kidney infection.
In the case of bladder pain and biofeedback with bladder infections, re-training the pelvic floor to improve bladder function can be helpful.
The biofeedback uses instruments to measure the reactions of the pelvic floor muscles and give you feedback with the use of lights or computer graphs.
When you receive the feedback, you will contract the pelvic floor muscles to help re-train them to better control your bladder. You can eventually control the need to urinate and make an unnecessary urge to urinate disappear.
Reproductive System Changes
Many instances of bladder pain in older women is the result of changes in the reproductive system brought on by menopause.
After menopause, the skin around the vagina gets thinner because it has been deprived of estrogen. The thinning vaginal skin, also known as vaginal atrophy, can sometimes be the cause of bladder pain.
There are several symptoms associated with vaginal atrophy. The vagina and vulva are no longer as full as they once were and you may experience dryness, itching or burning sensations in these areas.
In addition, intercourse can be painful, you may have vaginal bleeding and there can be an increase in urinary infections because the acidity levels in the vagina have changed.
Along with medications to treat some of the symptoms, biofeedback can also be used to help control pain or muscle contractions associated with conditions like vaginismus.
Vaginismus is a condition associated with menopause and involves muscle contractions or spasms of the vagina’s opening or around the perineum, which is located between the vagina and anus.
Biofeedback can be used to help control muscle spasms to help reduce the pain of sexual intercourse and also bladder pain associated with vaginal thinning.
Pain is a symptom associated with many conditions involving the bladder and urinary tract system, so biofeedback can be used to treat many of the causes of bladder pain.
It is usually a part of a treatment regimen involving the use of medications like antibiotics to treat infections causing pain.
If you have chronic bladder pain issues, you should consult your doctor about using biofeedback to help improve your condition and reduce instances of pain.