Magnetic Device Therapy Enhances Bladder Control in Spinal Injury Patients

Loss of bladder control is extremely common after a spinal injury. A team of UCLA researchers recently announced that they have successfully tried magnetic device therapy to enhance bladder control significantly in patients with a spinal injury.

As many as 80 percent of patients who have suffered a spinal cord injury lose control over their bladder function. This is an embarrassing and inconvenient condition that causes great trauma and anguish to patients, and drastically lowers the quality of life they can expect after an injury.

Scientists at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) recently announced that they have tried a magnetic device therapy on a group of five patients with spinal cord injury with the goal of helping these patients attain some degree of bladder control.  The patients in the study had all suffered their injuries between 5 and 13 years ago. The researchers used a magnetic device at the lumbar region in order to stimulate the lower spinal area.

They found that the patients who received this therapy regained significant bladder control for a period of up to four weeks after receiving the treatment. Four of the men in the study continued to require the use of the catheters, but the frequency of catheter use dropped from about 4 times a day to just once a day. For the rest of the day, they were able to regain bladder function and control. Average bladder capacity of the patients increased from 244 millimetres to 404 millimetres after the simulation therapy. The researchers estimated that the increase in bladder control enhances the quality of life of these patients by as much as 60 per cent.

According to the researchers, mild magnetic stimulation can help regain bladder control, helping these patients avoid the kind of social stigma and embarrassment associated with diminished or lost bladder function.  Regaining some measure of bladder control can also help spinal injury patients minimize the risk of urinary tract related infections that are commonly associated with a loss of bladder function. These patients must rely on catheter insertions on a regular basis to drain urine. Catheter use over a prolonged period of time has been linked to UTI infections and kidney problems. Those risks can be minimized through the use of magnetic stimulation therapy.

A patient who has suffered a spinal injury can expect several expenses, not just immediately after the injury, but also over the long term. These expenses can include the cost of surgeries, medication costs, and special therapies as well as the cost of assistive aids and devices to enhance the person’s quality of life. If  your loved one has suffered a spinal injury,  talk to an Indianapolis spinal cord injury lawyer at Montross Miller and discuss your legal options for a claim.