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

Sapsford, Ruth R., Richardson, Carolyn A., Maher, Christopher F. and Hodges, Paul W. (2008) Pelvic floor muscle activity in different sitting postures in continent and incontinent women. Archives of Physical Medicine And Rehabilitation, 89 9: 1741-1747. doi:10.1016/j.apmr.2008.01.029

Author Sapsford, Ruth R.
Richardson, Carolyn A.
Maher, Christopher F.
Hodges, Paul W.
Title Pelvic floor muscle activity in different sitting postures in continent and incontinent women
Journal name Archives of Physical Medicine And Rehabilitation   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0003-9993
Publication date 2008-09
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.apmr.2008.01.029
Volume 89
Issue 9
Start page 1741
End page 1747
Total pages 7
Place of publication Philadelphia, PA, United States
Publisher W.B. Saunders
Collection year 2009
Language eng
Subject C1
110317 Physiotherapy
920201 Allied Health Therapies (excl. Mental Health Services)
Formatted 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).

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.

A research laboratory.

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.

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).

More upright sitting postures recruit greater PFM resting activity irrespective of continence status. Further investigation should consider the effect of sitting posture in rehabilitation.
Keyword Abdominal muscles
Pelvic floor
Urinary incontinence
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

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Created: Tue, 04 Nov 2008, 15:30:19 EST