Bladder and Urinary Problems: A Comprehensive Guide

Physical therapy for bladder and urinary problems and UTIs. N2 Physical therapy in Denver, best physical therapist in Colorado for pelvic floor health, pelvic floor health improves physical health

Knowing yourself and your body is something we should all be striving for, mentally and physically, it’s the key to a better life. At N2 Physical Therapy, we believe in empowering our clients with knowledge about their bodies, in this post we’ll help you to understand the difference between bladder and urinary problems.

We see so much false information shared on social media channels, especially around pelvic health. We believe it is our duty to be your go-to educational hub, providing real, scientifically based information. 

In this article we aim to shed light on the differences between bladder problems and urinary problems, two common issues that can significantly impact on your quality of life and an area where physical therapy can help. 

First, let’s get to the heart of what we’re talking about: 

Bladder Problems:

The bladder is a muscular sac located in the lower abdomen that stores urine until it’s ready to be expelled from the body. Bladder problems typically involve issues with bladder control or sensation. These can include conditions like 

These issues can include:

  • Overactive bladder (OAB): This condition causes frequent urination, urgency, and sometimes incontinence. It’s often associated with involuntary bladder contractions.
  • Urinary incontinence: The inability to control urine leakage. There are different types of incontinence, including stress incontinence (caused by pressure, such as coughing), urge incontinence (sudden urge to urinate), and mixed incontinence (a combination of both).
  • Interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome: A chronic condition characterized by bladder pain, pressure, and frequent urination. The cause is unknown, but it may involve inflammation of the bladder wall.
  • Bladder infections (cystitis): These infections are usually caused by bacteria and can lead to symptoms like pain, burning, and frequent urination.

You are not alone!

According to the Urology Care Foundation, about 33 million Americans have overactive bladder, and women are twice as likely to suffer from it as men. 

The National Association for Continence reports that 200 million people worldwide suffer from incontinence, highlighting the prevalence of bladder problems (1,2).

Urinary Problems:

Urinary problems, on the other hand, encompass a broader range of issues affecting the entire urinary system, which includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. 

This can include:

  • Kidney stones: Hard deposits that form in the kidneys and can cause pain, blood in the urine, and difficulty urinating.
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs): Infections that can occur anywhere in the urinary tract, from the kidneys to the urethra.
  • Prostatitis: Inflammation of the prostate gland in men, which can cause pain, difficulty urinating, and other symptoms.
  • Urethral strictures: Narrowing of the urethra, which can make it difficult to urinate.
  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH): Enlargement of the prostate gland in men, which can compress the urethra and lead to urinary problems.

The American Urological Association states that UTIs account for over 8 million healthcare visits each year, and one in five women will have at least one UTI in her lifetime (3). Kidney stones affect approximately 1 in 11 people in the United States (4).

The Difference between Bladder and Urinary Problems

The primary difference between bladder and urinary problems lies in the scope. While bladder problems are specific to the bladder, urinary problems can affect any part of the urinary system. However, both can significantly impact a person’s daily life and should be addressed promptly for optimal health.

Seeking Help:

If you are experiencing any urinary or bladder problems, it’s important to seek medical advice from a healthcare professional to help diagnose the underlying cause and recommend appropriate treatment options.

N2 Physical Therapy can help address bladder and urinary problems through a variety of approaches, including:

  • Pelvic floor muscle training: Your physical therapist will assess your pelvic floor, the interactions this muscle group is having with the rest of your body, and determine what is needed. That might be restoration of pelvic muscle health, coordination exercises, lengthening the muscles, strengthening for strong shorter contractions, strengthening for more endurance, or simply just learning how the muscles work. Pelvic floor muscle training will be individualized to fit the big picture of what the entire body is doing!
  • Biofeedback: A technique that uses sensors to monitor muscle activity and provide feedback to help you learn to control your pelvic floor muscles.
  • Manual therapy: Hands-on techniques to address muscle imbalances and improve pelvic floor function.

Remember:  Early detection and treatment can significantly improve the prognosis for both bladder and urinary problems. If you’re experiencing any symptoms, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Book your appointment with N2 Physical Therapy


Denver (Uptown)



  1. Urology Care Foundation. (n.d.). What is Overactive Bladder (OAB)?
  2. National Association for Continence. (n.d.). Bladder Health.
  3. American Urological Association. (n.d.). Adult UTI.
  4. Urology Care Foundation. (n.d.). What are Kidney Stones?