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Have an overactive bladder? Acupuncture can help

Updated: Jun 1, 2023

The urgent and frequent need to urinate

Whether it is called “overactive bladder”, “small bladder”, “neurogenic bladder”, the urgent and frequent need to urinate is very bothersome. Urgent need to urinate can interrupt your leisure activities and work. Those who suffer from it often have to plan their activities to accommodate this inconvenience, or even decline an invitation for the fear of not being able to relieve themselves quickly when needed.

According to a study by Corcos and Schick from the Department of Urology at the Jewish Hospital of Montreal published in 2006* (1), 18% of the population over 35 years are affected, and women are more vulnerable than men.

Symptoms of overactive bladder are:

  • the urge to urinate;

  • the need to urinate more than eight times in a 24-hour period;

  • the need to urinate twice or more at night;

  • accidental loss of urine or “urge urinary incontinence”;

  • urinary leakage

The main acupuncture points used to treat overactive bladder symptoms are located at the ankle, precisely on the path of the posterior tibial nerve. Which makes us suspect that the posterior tibial nerve stimulation, a treatment approved by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), USA, in 2009, is inspired by acupuncture.

At Clinique Aurora, we frequently receive patients with complaints of frequent and/or urgent urges to urinate; we have excellent clinical results with acupuncture treatments. Patients often notice an improvement after 1 to 3 treatments. However, it is necessary to plan a series of 5 to 10 treatments to achieve a more remarkable reduction in symptoms.

If you or someone close to you suffers from urgent or frequent urination, urinary leakage, or the need to urinate several times during the night, consult one of our acupuncturists to discuss what acupuncture can do to help you.

Note: If you have urinary symptoms that are recent, or you are having a sudden onset of symptoms, consult your doctor first.


*(1) Corcos J, Schick E. Prevalence of overactive bladder and incontinence in Canada. Can J Urol. 2004 Jun;11(3):2278-84. PMID: 15287994.


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