Overactive bladder syndrome (OAB) is a dysfunction of the bladder’s storage abilities. Symptoms include a sudden urge to urinate that is often difficult to control, involuntary loss of urine (or urge incontinence), frequent urination (greater than 8 times per day) and waking at night 2 or more times to urinate. The causes vary and may include dysfunction of the kidneys, bladder nerve signals and muscle activity. Other factors that may add to the problem and make it worse include multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease, increased fluid intake, kidney and bladder organic disorders, diabetes, pharmaceutical medications and illicit drugs, urinary infections, enlarged prostate and increased consumption of caffeinated beverages.
Acupuncture is very effective for controlling overactive bladder syndrome, and is well-tolerated with no side effects or complications. Acupuncture is safe, and also has several benefits. It can be used for patients who cannot tolerate medications, and acupuncture does not cause the adverse effects associated with OAB medications, and acupuncture demonstrated that it worked where medications and behavioral therapy have failed. Acupuncture may also avert the need for surgery as a corrective measure.
Acupuncture provides an effective option to patients who have tried medications without success. In this way, acupuncture can potentially reduce the number of patients requiring surgery for OAB.