Cauda Equina - Advice for sufferers

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Where to get help

There are several services available to you which will advise you on how to improve your quality of life.

Medical Services:

General Practitioner: Can advise on the various services available and if you ask will refer you to other specialists below. You have the right to see an appropriate specialist and you must agitate for referral if you feel that you would benefit from specialist advice.

Urologist: Surgeon who specialises in bladder problems. Will also advise on erectile dysfunction (impotence). Neuro-urologists sub-specialise in bladder problems caused by nerve disorders.

Neurologist: Doctor who specialises in nerve disorders. Uro-neurologists sub-specialise in bladder problems caused by nerve disorders.

Dietician: Can advise on a diet to help with bowel problems (eg difficulty emptying, poor sensation of bowel fullness, constipation or loose stools).

Health Visitor: Nurses with extra qualification in community health. Expert in community health and the services available to the general population. Excellent source of information and will refer you to other specialists if you ask. Generally based in GP surgery.

District Nurse: Nurses who work in the community and can provide information on the services available and refer you to a continence advisor. Generally based in GP surgery.

Continence Advisor: Works in the community. Gives advice on all aspects of incontinence (eg catheters or pads). You can see one through referral by district nurse or GP.

Andrologist: A doctor (generally a urologist) who specialises in male erection problems and fertility issues..

Gynecologist: A doctor who specialises in female fertility issues.

Therapy Services:

Physiotherapist: Will assist you in the rehabilitation process. Helps with all aspects of physical recovery (eg balance and mobility exercises). Some specialise in incontinence (continence physiotherapist).

Acupuncturist: Available on the NHS. Can help with symptoms of pain.

Gait Assessor: Specialist physiotherapist, chiropodist (podiatrist), and occupational therapist. Will assess balance and give you assistance on mobility, shoe inserts and foot care.

Psychological Services:

Sex Therapist: May help with the psychological burden of sexual issues after your injury and improve your sexual function.

Psychotherapist or Counsellor: Can help you cope with the devastating result of your injury as you try to come to terms with the diagnosis. You can see one through referral by GP or health visitor.

Complimentary Therapies:

Reflexologist, cranio-osteopathy, aromatherapist:
May help with your general wellbeing.

Information Resources

Public Library, and many Internet web sites (See our Web Links page)

Your Rights and Benefits

It is vital to ensure that you are getting all of your entitlements and legal advice if required. Go to your local Benefits Agency or Citizens Advice Bureau to find out your entitlements. You may be entitled to incapacity benefit, mobility allowance, heating allowance, carers' allowance, housing benefits, council tax relief, unemployment or sickness benefit etc. You may also be entitled to assistance with modification to your home. Make sure that if you have a young family and you are finding life difficult that you talk to Social Services about home care. Patients' lives can also be much improved by simple things, such as free urinary incontinence pads or catheters.

Page Last Updated: 10 June 2004

WelcomeAbout Cauda Equina SyndromeWhere to get helpPatients' Personal StoryLiterature ReviewWeb Links