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Musculoskelet Sci Pract. 2018 Apr;34:47-53. doi: 10.1016/j.msksp.2017.12.001. Epub 2017 Dec 9.

Association between lumbopelvic pain and pelvic floor dysfunction in women: A cross sectional study.

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McMaster University, School of Rehabilitation Science, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Electronic address:
McMaster University, School of Rehabilitation Science, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
Pelvic Health Solutions, Cambridge, Ontario, Canada.



The prevalence, cost and disability associated with lumbopelvic pain continues to rise despite the range of available therapeutic interventions, indicating a deficiency in current approaches. A literature base highlighting a correlation between lumbopelvic pain and pelvic floor function is developing; however, the features that characterize this correlation have yet to be fully established.


The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence and characteristics of pelvic floor muscle function among women with lumbopelvic pain.


A cross-sectional study was conducted on non-pregnant women presenting with lumbopelvic pain to one of seven outpatient orthopaedic clinics in Canada. Potential participants underwent a screening process to assess for pelvic floor muscle dysfunction.


A total of 182 women were recruited and 97 were excluded, leaving 85 participants (n = 85). Of these, 95.3% were determined to have some form of pelvic floor dysfunction. Specifically, 71% of the participants had pelvic floor muscle tenderness, 66% had pelvic floor weakness and 41% were found to have a pelvic organ prolapse. Participants with combined low back pain and pelvic girdle pain presented with higher levels of disability and increased characteristics of pelvic floor dysfunction.


Our findings corroborate and extend recent research supporting the hypothesis that a high proportion of pelvic floor muscle dysfunction is present among women with lumbopelvic pain. Specifically, increased pelvic floor muscle pressure-pain sensitivity represented the most frequent characteristic, the clinical implications of which require further study.


Lower back pain; Lumbopelvic pain; Pelvic floor; Women's health

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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