Pelvic floor physical therapy for pelvic floor hypertonicity: a systematic review of treatment efficacy

Review written by Dr Sandy Hilton info

Key Points

  1. Pelvic muscle hypertonicity is associated with urological, gynecological, gastrointestinal, sexual dysfunction, and pelvic pain.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

The muscles of the pelvic floor (PF) are defined as superficial and deep layers which are assessed with vaginal or rectal digital palpation and assessment of muscle function for contraction and relaxation. These muscles provide support for the pelvic and abdominal viscera as well as function for normal bowel, bladder, and sexual health. The prevalence of PF hypertonicity (PFH) is between 50% and 90% (1,2). There is no standardized assessment of PFH and no normative values (3,4).

The goal of this systematic review was to appraise the current literature on the effectiveness of pelvic floor physical therapy intervention for the treatment of PFH.

Pelvic floor muscles provide support for the pelvic and abdominal viscera as well as function for normal bowel, bladder, and sexual health.
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Without having an established standardized assessment, outcome measurement, and treatment, we need to hold lightly to the claims made of efficacy in treatment.

METHODS

The authors conducted the search and documented it fully in this review in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement. There were 28 different reported outcome measures across the 10 included studies.

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