Study: Pelvic Exercise Helps Incontinence
The study finds improvement reported by 83 percent of the women who underwent a supervised chair-based six-weeklong exercise program focused on identifying, isolating and strengthening muscles that support the pelvic area -- the transversus abdominus, the corset-like swath of muscles that wraps around the abdomen; the multifidus, which extends along the back of the trunk; and the pelvic floor muscles, which form a sling to hold up internal organs like the bladder.
No statistically significant improvements were reported by women in the control group who received one session of educational basics and no supervised exercises.
"Urinary incontinence can take a very real emotional and social toll," lead author Sheila Dugan of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago said in a statement. "Many treatment options exist, but strengthening the pelvic floor muscles, as our study has shown, can be very effective even for older women."
The study, involving 65 women between the ages of 67 and 95, is scheduled to be presented this week at the annual meeting of the North American Menopause Society in San Diego.