Bladder Spasm

Causes And Treatment Of A Bladder Spasm

A bladder spasm is an unpleasant part of life for many people. Although in most instances a bladder spasm is treatable, the cause must usually be found first, and since there are many possible causes, finding a cure or treatment may take some time.

Usually our bladder fills up slowly with urine over the course of a number of hours. When the bladder is becoming full, the nervous system sends a message to the brain. The brain in turn starts sending messages to our conscious self that it's time to empty the bladder. Fortunately, in normal circumstances the brain doesn't simply send a signal which empties the bladder, but one which cases the muscles to start to contract, and it is this initial contraction that tells us it's time to find a bathroom.

A bladder spasm can do one of two things. It can give us the urge to urinate, even though the bladder is not full or possibly even empty. On the other hand, a spasm may cause the bladder muscle to actually contract and the bladder to empty, or at least begin to empty. This latter situation is known as incontinence, also referred to as leakage, while in extreme cases there may be a complete loss of control over the actions of the bladder.

Food As A Cause - The causes of a bladder spasm are many and varied. Food is sometimes the culprit, especially spicy foods or acidic foods, such as tomatoes, which can irritate the lining of the bladder. Caffeinated beverages can have the same effect, and for some people, chocolate can be a cause of spasms. Medication, especially those falling into the category of diuretics, are known to cause a bladder spasm.

Surgical Causes - A bladder spasm can be a side effect of bladder surgery in either men or women, while for women a hysterectomy can result in bladder spasms as an after effect, and for men, prostate surgery can do the same.

Underlying Diseases - Since the nervous system plays such a key role in controlling the actions of the bladder muscle, a neurological disorder can often be pinpointed as the cause. Systemic diseases such as diabetes sometimes damage the nervous system, as can Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, and cerebral palsy.

Bladder Spasm Treatments - The course of treatment of a bladder spasm will of course depend upon the cause of the problem. If food is suspected, it may be advisable to keep a log or diary, noting what was eaten prior to an attack. While this may seem like a significant amount of effort, especially if the spasms are few and far between, those suffering such spasms will usually find it well worth it.

Sometimes the simple act of going to the bathroom more frequently than normal, but on a schedule can help prevent spasms, and may even cause the spasms to diminish in severity and frequency.


When self help efforts fail a doctor may be able to prescribe medication that will either cure, or at least effectively treat the condition. A bladder spasm condition may not be curable if it is being caused by an underlying disease, unless the disease is first cured, but the bladder condition may at least be treated to the extent where the elimination can be effectively controlled. In some cases, electrical implants which regulate the muscle spasms, operating on much the same principle as a pacemaker, have proven effective.

A bladder spasm can be painful, and can often result in embarrassing social situations. The best approach is to consult with a physician, recognizing that it may take some time before the actual cause can be determined, thereby allowing a course of treatment to be defined.