Associations between low back pain, urinary incontinence, and abdominal muscle recruitment as assessed via ultrasonography in the elderly

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Abstract

Background: Low back pain (LBP) and urinary incontinence (UI) are highly prevalent among elderly individuals. In young adults, changes in trunk muscle recruitment, as assessed via ultrasound imaging, may be associated with lumbar spine stability. Objective: To assess the associations between LBP, UI, and the pattern of transversus abdominis (TrA), internal (IO), and external oblique (EO) muscle recruitment in the elderly as evaluated by ultrasound imaging. Method: Fifty-four elderly individuals (mean age: 72±5.2 years) who complained of LBP and/or UI as assessed by the McGill Pain Questionnaire, Incontinence Questionnaire-Short Form, and ultrasound imaging were included in the study. The statistical analysis comprised a multiple linear regression model, and a p-value <0.05 was considered significant. Results: The regression models for the TrA, IO, and EO muscle thickness levels explained 2.0% (R2=0.02; F=0.47; p=0.628), 10.6% (R2=0.106; F=3.03; p=0.057), and 10.1% (R2=0.101; F=2.70; p=0.077) of the variability, respectively. None of the regression models developed for the abdominal muscles exhibited statistical significance. A significant and negative association (p=0.018; β=–0.0343) was observed only between UI and IO recruitment. Conclusion: These results suggest that age-related factors may have interfered with the findings of the study, thus emphasizing the need to perform ultrasound imaging-based studies to measure abdominal muscle recruitment in the elderly.

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Figueiredo, V. F., Amorim, J. S. C., Pereira, A. M., Ferreira, P. H., & Pereira, L. S. M. (2015). Associations between low back pain, urinary incontinence, and abdominal muscle recruitment as assessed via ultrasonography in the elderly. Brazilian Journal of Physical Therapy, 19(1), 70–76. https://doi.org/10.1590/bjpt-rbf.2014.0073

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