Lower Back Pain and Problems with Bladder or Bowels— Get Help Immediately

Questions? Call Toll-Free 1-

Contact us today. We're here for you seven days a week.

Contact Us By Phone 1-
Am I a Candidate for Surgery? Learn More
Request an MRI Review Submit Information

Lower Back Pain and Problems with Bladder or Bowels— Get Help Immediately

Lower Back Problems

If you are experiencing numbness in the groin, pain in one or both legs that mimics sciatica, lack of reflex control in the lower half of the body, lower back pain and problems controlling bladder or bowel functions, seek immediate medical attention as you may have a serious condition that could leave you permanently disabled.

What is an emergency back situation?

Lower back pain, in conjunction with loss of bladder or bowel control, may be cauda equina syndrome (CES), which results when an injury, illness or degenerative condition exerts pressure on the cauda equina, a bundle of nerves at the base of the spinal column. These nerve roots communicate impulses to and from the legs and pelvic organs; if their signal path is interrupted (for instance, by spinal stenosis or a herniated disc), immediate treatment is necessary to avert permanent damage that could result in paralysis of the legs, impaired bowel or bladder control, chronic lower back pain, problems with sexual function and other issues. Patients presenting with CES will often receive treatment as emergency cases because of the urgent nature of this syndrome.

Possible causes of cauda equina syndrome

As indicated, cauda equina syndrome may result from conditions such as disc herniation or spinal stenosis, depending on the location. Other causes include:

  • Tumors or lesions on the spinal cord or in the cauda equina
  • Hemorrhage, swelling, or infection of the spinal cord or the spinal meninges (a sheath of protective membranes that surrounds the cord itself)
  • A severe spinal injury, such as a fractured vertebra
  • Birth defect

Many of the symptoms of cauda equina syndrome are similar to those of other conditions that cause lower back pain problems. If you experience the range of symptoms above—particularly the loss of bowel/bladder control—seek emergency medical attention immediately.


In the event that your back pain is the result of a less-urgent condition and conservative treatment has not lessened your pain, your physician may suggest that you consider surgery. If this is the case, contact Laser Spine Institute. Our minimally invasive procedures have helped thousands of people find relief from back pain. Contact Laser Spine Institute today for your MRI review.

Need an immediate response?

Our live chat feature allows you to talk instantly with a representative.

  • - -

Download your info packet on
Minimally Invasive
Spine Surgery

& receive our e-newsletter.

También disponible en español

What is Laser Spine Surgery? Can Laser Spine Institute Help You?

You can get these answers by attending a medical seminar.

Back to Health

Be inspired, informed and connected.

Expert answers, informational videos and inspiring stories of patients who returned to life at its fullest with Laser Spine Institute.

Laser Spine Wellness

Patient Reviews and Stories

Natalie Gulbis shares her story about her road to recovery from back pain after minimally invasive surgery.

Learn about Natalie Gulbis' Recovery

Meet our Physicians and Surgeons

Our medical professionals know that you expect excellence in terms of medical attention. We strive to go Above and Beyond your expectations and deliver quality, patient-centered care at each of our surgery centers.

Learn about our physicians & medical staff