A randomized clinical trial comparing pelvic floor muscle training to a Pilates exercise program for improving pelvic muscle strength
Introduction and hypothesis
The purpose of this study is to determine whether a Pilates exercise program and a pelvic floor muscle-training (PFMT) program could provide similar improvements in pelvic muscle strength.
Sixty-two women with little or no pelvic floor dysfunction were randomized to Pilates or PFMT. Each group had 24 biweekly 1-h sessions with either a physical therapist or Pilates instructor. Strength was measured via perineometry (cmH2O). Two questionnaires—pelvic floor distress inventory (PFDI-20) and pelvic floor impact questionnaire (PFIQ-7)—were also collected.
At baseline, the Pilates and PFMT groups measured 14.9 ± 12.5 and 12.5 ± 10.4 cmH2O, respectively (p = 0.41). Both the Pilates and PFMT groups got stronger (6.2 ± 7.5 cmH2O, p = 0.0002 and 6.6 ± 7.4 cmH2O, p = 0.0002, respectively), with no difference between groups p = 0.85. PFIQ and PFDI scores improved from baseline but not between groups.
Further study is required to determine if Pilates can actually treat pelvic floor dysfunction.
KeywordsPelvic floor muscle training Kegels Pilates Perineometry
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