Acupuncture for Bladder and Bowel Problems

Bladder Problems

Bladder problems are very common. You may have pain in the bladder or lower abdomen, find it hurts when you pass water, need to go to the toilet more urgently or more often than normal, or need to go to the toilet at night.

As long as there is no underlying disease, acupuncture can be a good alternative – or addition – to drug treatment.

It’s important to rule out any underlying illnesses or infections, so your GP is the first port of call if you start to suffer with symptoms like these. If you’ve been told that your problem is to do with bladder function rather than any disease or infection, then I may be able to help you.


Your doctor may have used any of a wide range of terms to diagnose the problem.

These may include:

  • Overactive / Irritable Bladder
  • Painful bladder syndrome (PBS) or Urethral syndrome
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Chronic pelvic pain

Drug treatments include muscle relaxants, anti-depressant pain killers, anti anxiety medications, and long-term antibiotics. These help some people, but others get little or no benefit, or find the side-effects too difficult to manage.

PTNS for Overactive Bladder

I can provide an acupuncture version of Percutaneous Posterior Tibial Nerve Stimulation (PTNS). PTNS has been recognised by NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) as being effective for Overactive Bladder. For more information see the NICE patient information sheet and for further information please contact me directly. I treat the same nerve as is treated in NHS PTNS, in addition to other acupuncture points.

How acupuncture helps bladder problems

Acupuncture has an effect on the nerves and muscles which are involved in bladder control. This in turn helps the bladder work more normally again.

In addition, we know that the brain and spinal nerves are important in bladder control. When the signals between the brain, spinal cord and the bladder are disrupted for any reason, you can get problems. Acupuncture is thought to help restore normal communication and therefore bladder control.