Addressing Soreness with an Intermittent Catheter | Ask Aaron

Aaron Baker
Spinal Cord Injury Lifestyle Specialist | Shield HealthCare
01/21/19  1:41 PM PST
Soreness with an Intermittent Catheter

Check out Colin’s question to Aaron Baker, our Spinal Cord Injury Lifestyle Specialist, about soreness with an intermittent catheter, after removal:

Hi Aaron,

Why am I always sore after removing my intermittent catheter?


Hi Colin,

Thank you for reaching out with your question. We always recommend seeing a medical professional if you are experiencing any issues with your intermittent catheter. To help in the meantime though, I must clarify that while I am not a doctor, I do have 19 years of personal experience with spinal cord injury and the secondary complications that accompany the condition. I, too, used to experience soreness due to catheter insertion and removal. I attributed this to the fact that I was inserting the catheter hose into very delicate tissue that under normal circumstances would otherwise not be exposed a foreign object, and may therefore be causing micro tears and inflammation.

As my sensation improved over the years, so too did the pain and soreness. To allow my bladder and genitals a reprieve from cathing, I would use a condom catheter and refrain from intermittent catheterization for a short time to allow healing. If a condom cath isn’t an option for you, then maybe try a smaller size catheter, extra lubrication and a gentle hand during insertion. Be sure your catheters are sterile (I use the JAW), as a bladder infection can cause soreness as well.

I hope you find a solution to your soreness. Feel free to check in again and share your unique way of managing your body.

Best in health,

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  1. Hello,

    My sister is a quadriplegic and I am her caregiver. She has had breast cancer and many other health problem but nothing seem to get her down. She is a very special lady. I just wish I could do more for her. I would like to take her out more and just do thing with her that would brighten her day.
    I would like to know if you have information that would be useful.
    Thank you
    Irene M.

    1. Hello Irene,

      Your sister is very fortunate to have you as her caregiver. Having my family love and support has made all the difference in my happiness and quality of life. Thank you for reaching out with your question. I suggest planning an outing that she would enjoy. What does/did she like? Music, art, food, theater, or nature? Depending on where you live, she may enjoy a picnic near the beach, by a lake, in the mountains etc… Or maybe a music, or food festival. Museums are most often accessible and can be a real joy. Sometimes just going for a train or bus ride across town to indulge in a completely unique cuisine. I tease my wife and playfully tell her to get her passport out when we experiment with new, exotic food in our city.

      The key to a good time wherever you go, is peace of mind. Plan ahead and be sure you are well equipped to handle all her personal needs i.e. bathroom supplies, extra clothing, snacks. Give her confidence by including her in the planning process… Make it an adventure!

      After all, that is what life is!

      Best of luck,

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