Int J Sports Med 2020; 41(04): 264-270
DOI: 10.1055/a-1073-7977
Behavioural Sciences
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Pelvic Floor Muscle Training in Female Athletes: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study

1  Department of Sports Sciences, University of Trás-os- Montes and Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal
,
Patricia Maria Pires
2  Higher School of Health, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal
,
Maria Helena Moreira
3  Department of Sports, Exercise and Health Sciences, CIDESD, CITAB, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal
,
Ronaldo Eugênio Calçadas Dias Gabriel
4  Department of Sports, Exercise and Health Sciences, CITAB, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal
,
Paulo Vicente João
5  Center in Sports Sciences, Health Sciences and Human Development (CIDESD), CreativeLab, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (UTAD) Vila Real, Portugal
,
Sara Alexandra Viana
6  Higher School of Health, University of Fernando Pessoa, Porto, Portugal
7  Physiotherapy, Hospital São joão, Porto, Portugal
,
Rui Antunes Viana
6  Higher School of Health, University of Fernando Pessoa, Porto, Portugal
7  Physiotherapy, Hospital São joão, Porto, Portugal
› Author Affiliations
Funding This work is supported by: National funding through the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology, I.P., under project UID/ DTP/04045/2019; National Funds by FCT – Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology, under the project UID/AGR/04033/2019 and; FCT – Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology, under the project UID/EMS/00285/2019.
Further Information

Publication History



accepted 19 November 2019

Publication Date:
14 January 2020 (online)

Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of pelvic floor muscles training in elite female volleyball athletes and whether it is an effective therapy for stress urinary incontinence. Fourteen athletes, both continent and incontinent, between 18 and 30 years of age, were randomly assigned to an experimental group or a control group. The experimental group received a protocol for pelvic floor muscle training for 4 months. This consisted of three phases: awareness/stabilization, strength training and power. The control group was not subject to any intervention during the same period. Measures were collected at the initial and final phase for both groups. Maximum voluntary contractions were evaluated with a perineometer, involuntary urine loss with a Pad test and quality of life with the King’s Health Questionnaire. Baseline sociodemographic and anthropometric characteristics were not significantly different. Comparing the two groups, the experimental group improved maximum voluntary pelvic contractions (p<0.001) and reduced urine loss (p=0.025), indicating the existence of significant differences between groups in the variation from the initial and final phases. The percentage of urine loss decreased in the experimental group, from 71.4–42.9%, suggesting that the protocol intervention for 16 weeks may help athletes with stress urinary incontinence.