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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2008 Sep;89(9):1741-7. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2008.01.029.

Pelvic floor muscle activity in different sitting postures in continent and incontinent women.

Author information

1
Department of Physiotherapy, Mater Health Services, Brisbane, Australia. rsapsford@ozemail.com.au

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether resting activity of the pelvic floor muscles (PFMs) and abdominal muscles varied in different sitting postures in parous women with and without stress urinary incontinence (SUI).

DESIGN:

PFM and abdominal muscle activity was recorded in 3 sitting postures: slump supported, upright unsupported, and very tall unsupported. Spinal curves were measured in slump supported and upright unsupported.

SETTING:

A research laboratory.

PARTICIPANTS:

Women (N=17) with a history of vaginal delivery, 8 who were symptomatic of SUI and 9 who were asymptomatic.

INTERVENTIONS:

Not applicable.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Electromyographic activity of (1) the resting PFM recorded per vaginam with surface electrodes and (2) superficial abdominal muscles using surface electrodes. Changes in spinal curves were measured with a flexible ruler.

RESULTS:

Electromyographic activity of the PFM increased significantly from slump supported to upright unsupported postures in both groups (P<.001) but with lower levels of activity in women with SUI (P<.05). PFM activity increased further in very tall unsupported sitting in comparison with slump supported sitting (P<.001). Obliquus internus abdominis electromyographic activity was greater in upright unsupported than in slump supported sitting (P<.05), and electromyographic activity of other abdominal muscles was greater in very tall unsupported than slump supported. Women with SUI had a trend for greater activity in the abdominal muscles in upright unsupported than asymptomatic women. Asymptomatic women had a greater depth of lumbar lordosis in upright unsupported sitting than women with SUI (P=.04).

CONCLUSIONS:

More upright sitting postures recruit greater PFM resting activity irrespective of continence status. Further investigation should consider the effect of sitting posture in rehabilitation.

PMID:
18760158
DOI:
10.1016/j.apmr.2008.01.029
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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