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Relief from Overactive Bladder with Tibial Nerve Stimulation

Are you constantly battling the sudden urge to urinate? Do you find yourself needing to use the bathroom too frequently during the day and even at night? Overactive bladder can significantly impact your daily life and overall well-being. If you’re seeking an effective and safe solution to manage overactive bladder symptoms, tibial nerve stimulation may be the answer you’ve been looking for.

Understanding Overactive Bladder and its Symptoms

Overactive bladder is a condition characterised by a group of symptoms related to the inappropriate release of urine. The most common symptom is experiencing a sudden, intense urge to urinate that cannot be delayed. Other potential symptoms may include leaking urine after getting the urge to urinate, needing to urinate frequently (eight or more times per day), waking up to urinate at least twice at night, and in severe cases, experiencing full loss of bladder control if unable to reach the bathroom promptly.

This condition is more prevalent than you might think, affecting as many as 30 percent of men and 40 percent of women.

Introducing Tibial Nerve Stimulation

Tibial nerve stimulation, also known as percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS), is a form of neuromodulation used to treat various conditions, including overactive bladder. This procedure targets the lower urinary tract through the posterior tibial nerve, a branch of the sciatic nerve that runs from the pelvis down the leg.

During the treatment, a small electrode is placed near your ankle to deliver gentle electrical pulses to the tibial nerve. This stimulation helps restore the proper communication between your brain and bladder, allowing the bladder to release urine only when necessary.

How Tibial Nerve Stimulation Works for Overactive Bladder

Overactive bladder symptoms arise when the nerve signals between the brain and bladder are disrupted, leading to untimely urination. Tibial nerve stimulation corrects this communication breakdown by stimulating the tibial nerve, which, in turn, regulates the other nerves responsible for bladder control.

A typical course of tibial nerve stimulation for overactive bladder consists of weekly treatments for about 12 weeks, followed by maintenance treatment with reduced frequency over time. It is essential to undergo this treatment in a medical setting to ensure safety and the best possible results.

What to Expect During a Tibial Nerve Stimulation Session

Each tibial nerve stimulation session lasts approximately 30 minutes. The electrical current is adjusted to the highest level you can tolerate comfortably. While you may feel a slight pinch when the needle is inserted into your leg, the session itself should not be painful. You might experience tingling or mild muscle spasms in your foot, toes, or ankle during the procedure.

Effectiveness and Safety of Tibial Nerve Stimulation

Tibial nerve stimulation has proven to be a successful treatment for many individuals suffering from overactive bladder. In various studies, approximately 60 to 70 percent of people reported an improvement in their symptoms, with around 47 to 56 percent noting a reduced frequency of bathroom visits.

The treatment’s effectiveness can be further enhanced by extending and gradually tapering the course, with about 77 percent of people experiencing improvement with this approach.

Moreover, combining tibial nerve stimulation with antimuscarinic medications, which relax the bladder and prevent untimely contractions, has shown to yield even more promising results than tibial nerve stimulation alone.

Safety Considerations and Risks

Tibial nerve stimulation is considered a safe procedure with no serious side effects. Some individuals may experience mild bruising, pain, inflammation, or minor bleeding around the needle insertion site during or after each session.

However, not everyone is a suitable candidate for this treatment. If you have a pacemaker or implanted defibrillator, are pregnant, have a bleeding disorder, or have prior nerve damage, tibial nerve stimulation might not be recommended for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does tibial nerve stimulation take to work?

It may take up to six sessions before you start noticing the effects of tibial nerve stimulation. The best results are usually achieved after 12 weeks of consistent treatment, followed by maintenance sessions that decrease in frequency over time.

Can a TENS unit help with overactive bladder?

Research is ongoing regarding at-home nerve stimulators, including TENS units, but more investigation is required. Early results suggest that at-home tibial nerve stimulation might be less effective compared to receiving the procedure in a doctor’s office.

Can tibial nerve stimulation be used for children with overactive bladder?

Yes, tibial nerve stimulation is safe and effective for children with overactive bladder. Studies show that approximately 70 percent of pediatric patients experience significant improvement or are completely cured through this treatment.

Can tibial nerve stimulation replace overactive bladder medications?

Tibial nerve stimulation is typically considered after trying first-line treatments like lifestyle changes and medications. If medications prove ineffective or cause severe side effects that disrupt daily life, your doctor may recommend tibial nerve stimulation as an alternative.

In Conclusion

If lifestyle changes and medications haven’t provided the relief you seek from overactive bladder symptoms, tibial nerve stimulation could be the solution you need. With a high success rate and minimal side effects, this treatment offers hope to many individuals seeking to regain control of their bladder and their lives.

Don’t let overactive bladder symptoms hold you back any longer. Speak with your doctor to determine if tibial nerve stimulation is the right option for you.