Urinary Pathologies

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I learned although massage does not directly affect the urinary system, it is still an important system for massage therapist to be acquainted with. The kidneys perform important function-filtering wastes out of the blood. They also play a significant role in maintaining homeostatic blood pressure. Because massage techniques can affect blood flow, pathologies of the urinary system need careful consideration before massage can be performed. The cells and tissues of the body are constantly making waste as by-products of cellular metabolism. These wastes need to be removed quickly because, if they were to build up, cell, tissue, and even organ death can occur. Cells export their wastes into the surroundings interstitial fluid. From there, the wastes diffuse into the blood, which transports them away from the cells to one of the body’s most important waste management systems, the urinary system. The urinary system consists of 2 kidneys, 2 ureters, one urinary bladder, and one urethra. The kidneys are the primary organs of the urinary system. The other parts are mostly passageways and storage areas. There are 6 main functions of the kidneys that help maintain the body’s homeostasis. The kidneys are reddish, kidney bean-shaped organs located in the posterior abdominal wall, just about waist level. They are about the size of a bar of bath soap. If one kidney is removed, the other will increase its filtering capacity so that it will filter at 80% of 2 normal kidneys. The functional unit of the kidney is the nephron. There are about a million nephrons in each kidney. Nephrons are responsible for filtering substances out of the blood, returning useful substances to the blood and forming urine. The 1st portion of nephron consists of a loop of blood capillaries called glomerulus surrounded by a hallow capsule. Between the wall of the glomerular capillaries and the capsule is a filtration membrane. This membrane has pores that allow only certain substances, such as water, wastes, ions, amino acids, and glucose, to be filtered out of the blood. The second part of the nephron is the renal tubule, which is a small, hallow tube connects to the glomerular capsule. As the fluid filtered out of the blood passes through the renal tubule, useful substances are returned to the blood. After urine is formed in the nephrons, it travels to the hollow center of each kidney, and then travels down the ureters to the urinary bladder. The bladder can hold 700 to 800ml. At 300 ml, the bladder is distended enough that the conscious sensation of needing to urinate arises. The urethra, which is 1.5 inches long in women and 6 to 8 inches long in men, the carries urine to outside the body.

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