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Hip and Pelvic Floor Muscle Strength in Women With and Without Stress Urinary Incontinence: A Case-Control Study

Underwood, Dawn B. PT, DPT, OCS; Calteaux, Tiffany H. PT, DPT; Cranston, Allison R. PT, DPT; Novotny, Sarah A. PT, DPT; Hollman, John H. PT, PhD

Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy: January/April 2012 - Volume 36 - Issue 1 - p 55–61
doi: 10.1097/JWH.0b013e31824fbee5
Research Report

Objective: To determine whether hip muscle strength and pelvic floor muscle performance differed between women with and without stress urinary incontinence (SUI).

Methods and Measures: Forty-eight women, 23 with SUI and 25 controls, participated. Hip strength was tested with handheld dynamometry. Pelvic floor muscle performance was examined manually through graded strength of contraction, duration over which a contraction was maintained, and the number of repeated quick contractions performed in 10 seconds. Data were compared between groups and correlated with impact of SUI measured with the International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire–Short Form.

Results: Although hip abduction strength was reduced in women with SUI (P < .05), impaired hip strength was not correlated with the impact of SUI. The number of repeated contractions performed in 10 seconds—the only variable that correlated with impact of SUI—was reduced in women with SUI (P < .05).

Conclusions: Results may not support interventions intended to strengthen hip muscles but may support interventions intended to improve performance of repeated quick pelvic floor muscle contractions, as part of a therapy program for SUI.

Program in Physical Therapy, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

The authors declare no confilcts of interest.

Copyright © 2012 Section on Women's Health, American Physical Therapy Association