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Experimental study of the reflex mechanism controlling the muscles of the pelvic floor.

Parks, A. G. M.D., F.R.C.S.; Porter, N. H. F.R.C.S.; Melzak, J. M.D.
Diseases of the Colon & Rectum: November/December 1962
doi: 10.1007/BF02616644
Experimental study of the reflex mechanism controlling the muscles of the pelvic floor: PDF Only

Conclusion: The muscles of the pelvic floor are unique by virtue of their nervous mechanism. No other muscle will fulfill their function, which is the reason for failure of the Wredon-Stone operation for incontinence. Without constant reflex postural activity, there cannot be continence.

The electrical activity occurring in the muscles of the pelvic floor, which can be recorded by electromyographic means, has been well described by other investigators. Our efforts have been directed toward investigation of the mechanism of this activity and the means by which it can be modified. Our findings suggest that the mechanism is reflex and we propose that it be known as thepostural reflex of the pelvic floor. In addition, we have described inhibition of this reflex by rectal distention. This phenomenon is also due to a reflex arc and we suggest that it be calledthe rectal inhibitory reflex. These closely interrelated reflexes have many practical and theoretical implications, especially in relation to continence and rectal prolapse.

(C) The ASCRS 1962