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Bladder Management Program After Spinal Cord Injury


A bladder management program allows you to empty your bladder at different times during the day. Follow the program that your PHP has recommended for you. This program will help reduce your risks for accidents in public, and for bladder and kidney infections.


Follow up with your primary healthcare provider (PHP) as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Management of your bladder program:

  • Empty your bladder frequently. An overfilled bladder can cause autonomic dysreflexia. This condition usually happens if your spinal cord injury is above T5-6. Your blood pressure becomes very high and can lead to stroke or death. Ask your PHP for more information about autonomic dysreflexia.
  • Drink liquids as directed. Ask your PHP how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you. Do not drink coffee, tea, or alcohol. These liquids may cause dehydration and irritate your bladder.
  • Monitor intake and output. Your PHP may ask you to measure the amount of liquids you are drinking and urinating. Keep a record of the amounts. Bring your record to your appointments. This will help your PHP know if your program is working.

Contact your PHP if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You have blood or blood clots in your urine.
  • You have nausea or are vomiting.
  • You have an increase in bladder spasms.
  • You are urinating less than usual.
  • You have pain in your back around your waist.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You have a sudden increase in blood pressure.
  • The skin on the lower part of your body is cold and dry, with goose bumps.
  • You are anxious or nervous.
  • The skin on the upper part of your body is hot, sweating, and red.
  • You have a sudden throbbing headache.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.