Assessment of pelvic floor muscle function in women with and without low back pain using transabdominal ultrasound.


Pelvic floor muscle (PFM) dysfunction has been recently associated with the development of low back pain (LBP). Transabdominal ultrasound imaging has been established as an appropriate method for visualizing and measuring PFM function. No study has directly evaluated PFM function in individuals with and without LBP. The purpose of this study was to investigate the PFM function in women with and without LBP using transabdominal ultrasound. Convenience sample of 40 non-pregnant female participated in the study. Subjects were categorized into two groups: with LBP (n = 20) and without LBP (n = 20). The amount of bladder base movement on ultrasound (normalized to body mass index) was measured in all subjects and considered as an indicator of PFM function. Statistical analysis (Independent t-test) revealed significant difference in transabdominal ultrasound measurements for PFM function between the two groups (P = 0.04, 95% CI of difference: 0.002-0.27).

The results of this study indicate PFM dysfunction in individuals with LBP compared to those without LBP. The results could be beneficial to clinicians when assessing and prescribing therapeutic exercises for patients with LBP.

Man Ther. 2010 Jun;15(3):235-9. doi: 10.1016/j.math.2009.12.005. Epub 2010 Jan 21.