Introduction and hypothesis: The purpose of this study is to determine whether a Pilates exercise program and a pelvic floor muscle-training (PFMT) program could provide similar improvements in pelvic muscle strength.
Methods: Sixty-two women with little or no pelvic floor dysfunction were randomized to Pilates or PFMT. Each group had 24 biweekly 1-h sessions with either a physical therapist or Pilates instructor. Strength was measured via perineometry (cmH(2)O). Two questionnaires--pelvic floor distress inventory (PFDI-20) and pelvic floor impact questionnaire (PFIQ-7)--were also collected.
Results: At baseline, the Pilates and PFMT groups measured 14.9 +/- 12.5 and 12.5 +/- 10.4 cmH(2)O, respectively (p = 0.41). Both the Pilates and PFMT groups got stronger (6.2 +/- 7.5 cmH(2)O, p = 0.0002 and 6.6 +/- 7.4 cmH(2)O, p = 0.0002, respectively), with no difference between groups p = 0.85. PFIQ and PFDI scores improved from baseline but not between groups.
Conclusions: Further study is required to determine if Pilates can actually treat pelvic floor dysfunction.