Quick Facts

  • Often bowel and bladder problems are experienced in the early days to weeks after injury
  • Most regain control of these body functions with time and practice

What does it
look like?

  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Increased urgency to urinate
  • Incomplete bladder or bowel emptying

Possible Causes and Complications

Possible causes:

  • Difficulty recognizing the need to go to the bathroom
  • Inability to plan ahead to give enough time to get to the bathroom
  • Difficulty walking to the bathroom
  • May not want to ask for help
  • May not be eating enough foods with fiber or drinking enough liquids

Possible complications:

  • May be complicated by medications
  • Increased risk for bladder infections
  • Skin problems due to incontinence

What can we do?

Support healthy bowel and bladder functions by encouraging the individual to:

  • Eat at regular times
  • Eat foods high in fiber
  • Drink fluids
  • Use diapers or pads
  • Assist the individual in following a recommended schedule or intervention outlined by rehabilitation staff

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to replace advice from a medical doctor. Consult a health care provider regarding specific medical concerns or treatment.