Reduced Pelvic Muscle Strength, Urinary Dysfunction Often Accompany Fibromyalgia, Study Suggests

Reduced Pelvic Muscle Strength, Urinary Dysfunction Often Accompany Fibromyalgia, Study Suggests
Women with fibromyalgia (FM) show reduced strength in the pelvic muscles, which correlates with urinary dysfunction and worse quality of life, a study reports. The study, “Lower urinary tract symptoms and perineal function in women with and without fibromyalgia: a cross-sectional study” was published in the journal Clinical Rheumatology. Fibromyalgia was first defined by the American College of Rheumatology in 1990 as a “chronic and widespread pain of musculoskeletal origin.” But a review from 2010 highlighted the importance of looking at symptoms other than pain. Women with FM also experience fatigue and reduced muscle strength. Researchers in Brazil hypothesized that reduced muscle strength would extend to pelvic floor muscles — those controlling over the bladder and bowel — but few studies have investigated the link between FM and urinary symptoms, such as incontinence. To test their hypothesis, researchers collected data from 126 women — 62 FM patients (mean age 46) and 64 controls (mean age 42) — between March 2015 and October 2016. The participants were followed at the outpatient physical therapy department and rheumatology clinic of a teaching hospital. Over half the women were married and 50 percent had children. Pelvic function was evaluated using perineometry and vaginal palpation.  In perineometry, a device measures the pressure of the vaginal walls when they are squeezed, whereas in vaginal palpation the clinici
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