• question-icon

    Is bladder incontinence a sign of cauda equina?

Posted on Sat, 28 May 2016 in Headache and Migraines
Question: I been having some random tingling/numbing sensations over my body for a couple of weeks now. I went to the doctor and ran an x-ray (no broken bones or fractures) and a reflex test (all good). The numbness/tingling went away for a week and came back after that (I thought it was an MS scare!). Now I have a tingling sensation in my saddle area (but when I pinched it, I can still feel pain). Could it be Cauda Equina Syndrome? I also have bowel/bladder incontinence, a little erection in my penis but I have no struggle getting out of a chair (I did an ankle and knee reflex tonight and the reflex is still there). Should I wait to get an MRI (I am getting one this Wednesday)? Also, 4 weeks ago when I bend backwards, I felt this pain (probably pulled a muscle in my abdomen). I know X-ray does not give a good diagnosis of a slipped disc or a pinched nerve. I am probably thinking that this is stress/anxiety (making all these symptoms go into my head).
Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka 32 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Read below.

Detailed Answer:
I read your question carefully and I understand your concern.

However reading at that description I do not think it to be a cauda equina syndrome. Usually cauda equina has a more severe presentation, there is low back pain radiating in the the lower limbs, there is weakness of the lower limbs. Also the urinary disturbances usually are in the form of retension, not incontinence, reflexes are affected as well.

So I think you can wait for the Wednesday's MRI. Anxiety is a probable contributing factor in my opinion as well (considering also that widespread tingling episodes a couple of weeks ago), at least partially, but considering the bowel and bladder issues the MRI is still advised, X-ray is fine to exclude urgent issues like fractures and dislocations, the MRI will give a more complete picture and definitively exclude other causes of nerve compression.

I remain at your disposal for further questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Olsi Taka 38 hours later
I think it is just anxiety or just a pinched nerve. We'll let the MRI confirm anything.
Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Read below.

Detailed Answer:
Hello again.

Yes the MRI will certainly give you piece of mind. The possibilities are the ones you mentioned. I believe anxiety to be more probable because of the preceding widespread tingling and also because pinched nerve at your age is unlikely, but as I said it is good you are doing the MRI.

Hopefully it won't reveal anything worrying. Let me know if you have any news/questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Answered by
Dr. Olsi Taka


Practicing since :2004

Answered : 3657 Questions


The User accepted the expert's answer

Share on

Recent questions on  Tingling sensation

doctor1 MD

When I woke up this morning, my left eye was blood shot, as if a vessel had broken. I have no pain, but I do have a slight tingling sensation ....

doctor1 MD

For about 3-4 weeks I get a sharp pain in my left shin (beside the bone), mostly when I stand up after sitting. Sometimes the pain shoots up the...

doctor1 MD

I have been having tingling sensation on my right shoulder. Only about four-five times a day. This has been going on for five days. Only lasts for...

doctor1 MD

I have a dear friend whom woke up one morning with a blackened/ red eye lid. There was a slight swelling but no tingle sensation/ numbness. The...

doctor1 MD

Doctor, I am an 18 year old male, I recently came back from a week in Cuba, and about halfway during my stay I started getting minor mouth sores...

Get personalised answers from verified doctor in minutes across 80+ specialties

158 Doctors Online

By proceeding, I accept the Terms and Conditions

HCM Blog Instant Access to Doctors
HCM Blog Questions Answered
HCM Blog Satisfaction
Questions Answered By Dr. Olsi Taka
  • Q - What causes vision issues and incoordination inspite of being on...

  • Q - What causes swollen artery in neck area along with painful swollen right...

  • Q - What causes pain in back of head?

  • Q - What causes episodes of temporary dizziness and imbalance while or after...

  • Q - Is it safe to vaporize Cannabis one month before a major back surgery?

  • Q - Suggest treatment for episodes of amnesia, nausea and severe imbalance

  • Q - How permanent a spinal cord contusion can be?

  • Q - Does Cocaine increase the risk for stroke?

  • Q - What causes headache and neck ache in a patient with head injury?

  • Q - Suggest treatment for sinus congestion that disturbs sleep due to...