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Urination issues with lower back pain

Hello new here...

I have been having back pain for about 4 months and about 2 weeks after the pain started I noticed i had to urinate more often and had the urge to very soon after going. I went to my primary care Dr. who thought it was my blood pressure and put me on med's. The problem continued so off to a urologist I went, exam more test and a Ct scan and nothing. I asked if this could be related to my back pain which everyone was saying was just a muscle, he said possibly. I was referred to another Dr. ( actually the wrong type he was a wrist specialist) but he ordered a MRI thinking a disc issue. He called and said he didn't think it was a disc issue but he did say I had a minimal protruding disc at L5-S1 but that couldn't be the issue because it was not compressing any nerves. Generally its only painful when I sit or bend over at certain angles like bending over the bathroom sink. I also have radiating pain down my butt to my groin and left testicle and down to my knee. From what i researched it seems that disc area is where your bladder nerves are and the timing of everything just seems to point to the back being the issue. I just don't thinks it s a Urology issue. There was also a one week period where it would feel like i was going to lose control of my bladder when i would sit down some times but that has since gone.

My questions are:

Could a protruding disc only cause pain/issues when sitting?

Do you think the disc issue is related to the urination issue? Anyone else have a similar issue?



  • backdoorbbackdoor Posts: 19
    edited 07/22/2014 - 10:06 PM
    I read that the syndrome is called Bladder Pain. Not sure if this is your case.

    "Pain may also be felt more generally in the lower back, abdomen, or groin. People with this condition may also urinate more frequently or feel an urgent need to urinate, yet they may only pass a little bit of urine each time. Sexual problems may also be related to interstitial cystitis."

    However, Lower back pain and Urination issues are linked to one another. Fairly common.
  • only is certain positions due in part to the compression of the disc in bending forward or backward, or sitting, causes the compression to be more significant than in laying or reclining positions.
    And the nerves to the bladder can become compressed in those positions , causing those symptoms.
    You may want to see a spine surgeon to go over your symptoms and for an examination.
  • FreeMBFFreeMB Posts: 3
    edited 07/23/2014 - 7:25 AM
    Will a neurosurgeon be the best Dr. To see?
  • If you start with you existing prime care provider, they will direct you to the right doctor. Sometimes insurance companies only pay if specialty doctors are referred.
  • FreeMB I am having very similar issues as you including frequent urination. Groin pain, back pain, leg pain. I have a disc herniation at l5/s1 and l4/l5. I just saw a neurosurgeon today that verified my urinary problems are derived from the l5/s1 sight. It's not common but he explained that it happens. I will private message you. I have learned a lot over the last few months.
  • Ok..great to hear I'm not alone!
  • s2gizzi said:
    FreeMB I am having very similar issues as you including frequent urination. Groin pain, back pain, leg pain. I have a disc herniation at l5/s1 and l4/l5. I just saw a neurosurgeon today that verified my urinary problems are derived from the l5/s1 sight. It's not common but he explained that it happens. I will private message you. I have learned a lot over the last few months.
    Guy Leclerc
  • 2 months ago I started frequent urination and pain in the groin and one testicle left side. I have chronic pain lower back lumbar region with a hernia L 4-5. Any treatment for these symptoms. I will be passing an ultra sound next week , will this exam will show something? I'm on butrans patche 5mg does for the pain with very little releif. I also do exercises for the lower back stretches buttock and pelvic. I'm tired to go to the bathroom every hour.
    thank you for reading
    Guy Leclerc
  • FritzcrackerzFFritzcrackerz Posts: 246
    edited 01/20/2015 - 11:36 AM
    Long story short, I needed an upright MRI to show the compressions were positional affected. Basically, when I stand up, the discs collapses and my nerves get crushed and I have bladder dysfunction. I have a fusion surgery booked to stop it.
    L5-S1 herniation. Both knee meniscus tear. L4-5 herniation - 2 x nerve block injections. L4-5 discectomy. L1-2 nerve block injection. L4-5 reherniation - TLIF fusion. 2016: L1-2 and L5-S1 retrolistheses and multiple facet joint degeneration.
  • ttm28tttm28 Posts: 4
    edited 01/22/2015 - 11:57 AM
    Hello, I'm only 21 and I have urine retention from my herniated L-5-S1 disc that's compressing my nerve. I too was referred to the urologist and he told me it's my comrpessed nerve causing this. My urologist told me the pinched nerve caused prostatitis. I would get it fixed ASAP. You don't want urine problems to get any worse then they already are.
  • thank goodness I've found you all I too have been having these problems it's sending me insane I went to the doctors who told me its sciatica she sent me away I've been back twice since for bloods kidneys liver and prostate both prostate and kidneys came back fine but they found high emsynes 84 should be 45 I stopped drinking. also got my blood pressure checked which were ok last week I went back today to get some more bloods done and I asked to get another blood test .... It was high ......don't get it.no alcohol and its up?? I'm now waiting for the results again for my liver I've been worried it was a Tumor I also get lower left abdomen pain sharp or pin pointed pain ,worse when driving completely gone when laid still ??? The pee thing comes on in an afternoon after I've been bending and lifting all day I've not had a mri offered ?? Also my penis feels like it's got urine in and I often think I've dribbled in my shorts ,,, but nothing there is this something any of you lot felt ....... Kind regards jonathan
  • I Have the same problem, can you send me your email? skype? Face? Thanks

  • No diagnosis yet, since I've only recently started this painful road. However, one of my symptoms is a constant urge to urinate and only a little bit at a time. I've had uti's and know this isn't one. No pain with urination. I know this isn't really helpful to you, but you aren't alone.
  • just last night I had extreme lower back pain after urination (not the first time) sweats and nausea. I have a dodgey L5 S1 with a 7mm protrusion. Since I injured my back I've had frequent urination, smelly urine (nothing showed up in tests) right testicle pain, any help would be great as my doctor doesn't seem to know....
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    Welcome to Spine-Health
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    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Hello
    I was hoping to find answer but my question is a little different..I have injured neck and lower back injury..Few problems are herniated disc in lower back and bulging..I also have stenosis (?)..to name a few..
    Anyway, I did something to my back last week and the pain was in my buttock. It stayed for a few days then the pain went into hip area..
    IM wondering if I "tweaked" a nerve causing this pain..But the reason IM writing is along the lines of urinating. Ive had problems with that since I have been on opoids. But since this latest injury, when I have to "go" it is almost becoming impossible..I have to "sit" because it takes so long to go.My question is,I dont have to go more frequently,but when I have to go it is taking longer and longer before I can..I hope this makes sense..Has anyone with back injury have this problem? Could the latest "injury" cause the problem IM now having. I thought it might be my prostrate but IM sure it is not..Any help would be appreciated
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • mariusmmarius NorwayPosts: 1
    edited 04/25/2016 - 11:14 AM
     I'm a guy at 43.
    I have been hospitalized in the US, the U.K. and Norway for the same problem (due to me traveling in my work), and they treat you more or less the same.

    I have had spinal problems for years, and been using tramadol and oxycodon to help with the pain. I have both hernitation in l3 to l5 and broken s10-11-12.l4-l5 is screwed together and L3 was crushed, so they rebuild it with cement..:-) ( car accident with grand mall seizure ). The problem with urination is linked mostly to l3, but both hernitation to l4 and l5 could impact the nerves to the bladder. I have this information after staying at the hospital for almost a year, first 3 months at the neurological department and then 9 months on the orthopedic dep. learning to walk again.

    You are either treated with catheter to handle the urination, something you can learn at the hospital to set your self, or you can get muscle relaxing drug (diazepam) or inflammatory calming (ncaid's) together with morphine ( Ketorax) to release the pain that block you from urinating.

    if you have lower back pain and experience "low pressure" , pain/ or no feeling at all in the bladder, the feeling to go to the toilet all the time etc.. Many different scenarios mentioned in this thread, it is likely that you have some of nerve blockade or nerve damage caused by a disc hernitation. You should do a MRI by the way.

    I have been admitted to the emergency room at the hospital 4,5 times during the last year after coming home, due to the fact that I'm not able to urinate. The first they do is to scan your bladder to check how full it's, same tool they scan for babies.. Then they either put you on a catheter to drain out the urin, or you get a shot of morphine and ncaid's in your bum or lower back, if they think it is the back pain blocking your body to urinate.

    Usually Im able to urinate 10-15 min after the injections. Then they scan again and the rest should be less than 150ml.  So these injections are something your regular GP can set on you. If these injections work on your bladder, you likely need to operate, take out the "fluid" between your discs.. ( it looks like cooked chicken).

    The second important thing is when you pass 40, you should start to sit when you urinate because the bladder is easier to empty for the body...

    so just telling my story, Im no doctor...

  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Welcome Marius

    Please click on the link for useful information

    Welcome to Spine-Health

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • I'd like to see if anyone has similar issue to me. 44 y.o. male, diagnosed with a bulging disc at L5-S1 [spondylosis/DDD/neurothapy] and since the first symptoms have had an increasing problem. When needing to urinate it feels like the muscles in my pelvic floor holding it all in are so tense that to get it all out I need to relax my sphincter, which I worry will release everything from the back end as well. Basically I now sit instead of standing, just in case I have an accident. Also, it is hard to get totally empty and have a bit of leakage afterwards. Could this all be related to the back issue or is it likely to be more of a urinary problem? I mentioned it to a physio who said it was related but so far my doc hasn't said it is much to worry about. 
  • Scotty19SScotty19 Posts: 25
    edited 07/08/2016 - 6:11 AM
    Hey mate, I have to say I have the exact same symptoms as you and they told me the same thing on my CT scan a mild Herniated L5 disc but that's not my problem.
    I am still at the stage where my doctor and physio have no idea on what's going on, it will be nice to know some answers 
  • Hi All,

    Glad to find folks with a similar problem. About 10 weeks ago I had an acute attack of severe sciatica after an injury sustained in the gym. After the first 3 weeks when attempting to sit, I had pretty bad pain right underneath the tailbone. I also had a feeling in my urethra that there was urine stuck and I was leaking, yet there was no evidence at all of any leakage. That feeling initially subsided, and I didn't notice it again until about 8 weeks into my recovery, at which point it came back with a vengeance. I had returned to work and believe the return to regular sitting may have reactivated that particular nerve. I never had an MRI, but all the sciatica issue pointed to L5. Drop foot, severe right side piriformis pain and numbness, pain and tingling down the outside of my right leg. Most of the sciatic symptoms are gone, but the urinary issues have been persistent, and no doubt, my constant ruminating over the issues make it worse. Negative on all urine analysis and culture and blood work indicates slightly elevated counts related to inflammation, but nothing off the charts or to far out of the normal range. I realize most people leave these discussions when they start feeling better, but if anyone out there has suffered from this issue and recovered is still monitoring, maybe you could provide an idea of the time frame it took to get better. Thanks!
  • As a continuation to above, I regret not having an MRI at  the time of the initial injury. Most of the sciatic symptoms presented as L5. It appears as if pudendal nerve issues are more connected to the sacral area of the spine. Since the traumatic injury to my back was as severe as it was, I'm wondering if I caused some damage even lower in the spine. I have to admit though, the urinary symptoms seem to be subsiding in the past day or so. Maybe I have finally started to recover. Original injury was April 28th.
  • My urinary problems started this year with a sudden, intense urge to void my bladder. I literally have seconds to make the mad dash to the bathroom or else I pee on myself. Once I was running water and had this sudden urge, but it was too late and I urinated all over the floor. Sometimes I don't realize that I'm leaking. I think my problem is related to stenosis and not cauda equina syndrome. I have some degree of control, and I've never had total loss of bladder or bowel control, but this has been a quite embarrassing problem. Most likely the nerves innervating the bladder are affected. I have central canal stenosis in the thoracic and lumbar spine, along with foraminal stenosis in the latter. I also wonder if this has led to bouts of UTI. All these issues are intertwined and complicated. 
    Ol' Spiney...Microdiscectomy L4-L5, TLIF L4-S1 -post op central disc herniation L4-S1, sciatic nerve damage, retrolisthesis, epidural fibrosis, facet arthropathy, severe DDD & OA.FBSS- Medtronic SynchroMed II pump.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    Hello Phil2 !
    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Hi!

    New issue as the urinary symptoms subside. Coccyx pain after sitting for prolonged periods of time. Finally convinced it's all a manifestation of my L5 injury. The recovery pattern seems similar. Can't evaluate progress in snap shots because any given moment can be symptom free or very uncomfortable. I find a 48 hour look back maps out the road to recovery. Am I better today than I was two days ago? So far the severe sciatic issues subsided after 8 weeks. The pelvic floor issues kicked in after I started getting back to normal routines. They are now slowly recovering. Hope springs eternal.

  • L5/S1 hernation and yes I had urinary issues.  On top of that please be aware tramadol can cause retention.  I am not sure about other mediciation.  I totally forgot about my bladder one day and suddenly realised I had not emptied it for over 10 hours and had had no urges.  I was able to go when I visited the bathroom but it did concern me re my kidneys.

     I am very careful now but I also have lots of issues with urgent need and also slow, short or interrupted flow.  I sometimes find that if I lean forward slightly on the toilet when this happens, I can assist my bladder in emptying.  It can take a long time sometimes
    L5/S1 herniation Apr 2013
    nerve root injections Oct 2013
    L5/S1 discectomy Jan 2014
    L5/S1 nerve roo &, facet joint injections & edpidural Jan 2015
    L5/S1 revised discectomy, L4/L5 discectomy & Wallis Inswing Stabilisation L4/L5 May 1st 2015

  • I have come to call it the "urge nerve". I now experience the urge to urinate lower than I used to in my bladder. The pressure now feels much closer to the end of my urethra. For weeks there was a constant tingling and sense of pressure that felt like I was leaking, but never any actual leakage. That feeling has retreated further back, yet when the urge develops, it resonates along the entire nerve. No retention issues, just discomfort, as much mental by obsessing on it, as actual physical. It surprises me, although understandable, that it takes finding others on websites that experience the same thing to be a better avenue to understanding than the actual healthcare profession. They seem reluctant to take on such issues once the obvious and demonstrable causes are eliminated (i.e. UTI, STD, or prostate issues).
  • dianenoddianeno doncasterPosts: 42
    I pee more & sometimes struggle to pee or cannot get quick enough :( mine is due to pain & swelling from l4 & L5 facet joint cyst which has similar symptoms to disk issues so I'm told. Doctor thinks it's my age 47! Even though it came once my back issue got worse, I know it's not my bladder & I have trapped sciatic nerve , they say they only worry if it's the caudia equine thingy which is serious & I believe forgive me if I'm wrong, the wee just floods out or blocks totally 
    But I would in your position get 2nd opinion  
    Hope it helps 
  • Feeling of leakage and pressure in the tip of my urethra is retracting back toward the base. I still get a tingling/twinge sensation whenever I have to urinate or have any bowel pressure whatsoever. It makes the urge feel disproportionate to the amount I actually have to go. I have also noticed it aggravates after sitting for prolonged periods of time. When the coccyx pain is at it's highest, I find it difficult to urinate though the urge is intensified. I have done enough reading to be absolutely confident it's all a result of my back injury, and though it was an acute incident attributable to one specific event at the gym, I believe it was a result of the past two years of overuse and improper technique  as a 55 year old pretending to be 20. I tried acupuncture for one visit, and it provided some relief, certainly enough to give it a go for a while. I hear its a good sign if the pain retreats closer to the source of the injury, even if it may intensify. I'm getting that now with increased coccyx discomfort, but a decrease in what I can only imagine is pudendal nerve irritation in the extremities. Good luck to all suffering similar circumstances, I'm hardly debilitated, but the mental challenge of trying not to think of nothing else all day is fierce.
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