Assessment of abdominal and pelvic floor muscle function among continent and incontinent athletes
- 565 Downloads
Introduction and hypothesis
Studies have shown that there is a co-contraction between the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles. This study aimed to evaluate pelvic floor and abdominal muscle function in continent and incontinent female athletes and to investigate the association between these muscle groups.
This was a cross-sectional study. Forty nulliparous professional female athletes who competed at the municipal level or above participated in this study. All participants underwent a pelvic floor muscle (PFM) and abdominal muscle assessment. PFM function and strength were assessed using the modified Oxford Scale and a perineometer. Abdominal muscle function and strength were assessed using a 4-Pro isokinetic dynamometer. To assess athletes’ urinary continence, the International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire Short-Form (ICIQ-UI-SF) was used.
There was a positive association between PFM and abdominal muscle strength among the incontinent athletes (p = 0.006; r = 0.577). The incontinent athletes had greater PFM strength than the continent athletes (p = 0.02). There was no difference in abdominal muscle function between the groups.
We found that incontinent athletes have greater PFM strength than continent athletes. This suggests that urinary incontinence in this population is not due to PFM weakness. The positive association between abdominal and PFM strengths in incontinent athletes may be due to frequent co-contraction between these muscle groups.
KeywordsAthletes Abdominal muscles Pelvic floor Urinary incontinence
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflicts of interest
- 5.Silva VR, Riccetto CL, Martinho NM, Marques J, Carvalho LC, Botelho S. Training through gametherapy promotes coactivation of the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles in young women, nulliparous and continents. Int Braz J Urol. 2016;42(4):779–86. https://doi.org/10.1590/S1677-5538.IBJU.2014.0580.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 9.Islam RM, Oldroyd J, Karim MN, Hossain SM, Md Emdadul Hoque D, Romero L, et al. Systematic review and meta-analysis of prevalence of, and risk factors for, pelvic floor disorders in community-dwelling women in low and middle-income countries: a protocol study. BMJ Open. 2017;7(6):01–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 16.Sanches PRS, et al. Correlation between the modified Oxford scale and perineometry measurements in incontinent patients. Rev HCPA. 2010;2(30):125–30.Google Scholar
- 17.Bø K, Kvarstein B, Hagen RR, Larsen S. Pelvic floor muscle exercise for the treatment of female stress urinary incontinence: II. Validity of vaginal pressure measurements of pelvic floor muscle strength and the necessity of supplementary methods for control of correct contraction. Neurourol Urodyn. 1990;9(5):479–87. https://doi.org/10.1002/nau.1930090504.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 18.Perrin D. Isokinetic exercise and assessment. Champaign: Human Kinetics Publishers; 1993. p. 1.Google Scholar
- 20.Cohen J. Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. 2nd ed. Hillsdale: Erlbaum; 1988.Google Scholar
- 25.Bo K, Ellstrom Engh M, Hilde G. Regular exercisers have stronger pelvic floor muscles than non-regular exercisers at Midpregnancy. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2017. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajog.2017.12.220.