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Treatment for bladder pain may vary with each patient. In many cases, a physician may prescribe medication to control the discomfort. Interstitial cystitis is another name for painful bladder syndrome, which is often treated with physical therapy after a thorough physical examination. Eliminating certain foods and beverages that may cause flare-ups can be another way to treat bladder pain.
Those who suffer from recurring bladder pain may need to be evaluated to determine if other medical conditions could be the cause. In some cases, gastroenteritis or other intestinal issues may cause bladder pain. A urinary tract infection (UTI) may cause painful bladder syndrome as well. Antibiotics are often prescribed to treat a UTI. A vaginal yeast infection may also cause bladder pain in some women, which is typically treated with antibiotics.
For some patients with chronic bladder pain, symptoms may worsen during certain activities. This may include sitting for extended periods of time or riding a bicycle. Some individuals may also experience bladder pain during or after sexual activity. To deal with the symptoms of painful bladder syndrome associated with various activities, some patients find psychotherapy to be helpful. This is generally done under the care of a psychologist or psychiatrist and may require several sessions to be successful.
Stress can aggravate symptoms of painful bladder syndrome, so it is best to control stressful situations as much as possible. Cutting back hours at work may temporarily help some patients. Performing certain relaxation techniques or exercises can also be beneficial. A physical therapist may demonstrate these techniques during a session.
Behavior modification therapy is another way to treat symptoms of painful bladder syndrome. One technique is to teach a patient how to control the urge to urinate. Urinary frequency, which is often one of the symptoms associated with a painful bladder, may be controlled effectively without the use of other medications in many patients who undergo this form of therapy.
Some patients may require catheterization to treat a painful bladder. This is generally performed when other methods have been unsuccessful. Urinary catheterization is performed by inserting a rubber or plastic tube into the bladder, allowing urine to drain. To avoid side effects and increased pain, the smallest catheter possible should be used.