Interventional benefit of Pilates using Oov and mat on middle-aged women with lower urinary tract symptoms: emphasis on abdominal muscle thickness and muscular function

J Exerc Rehabil. 2021 Jun 30;17(3):192-197. doi: 10.12965/jer.2142240.120. eCollection 2021 Jun.


Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) have been considered as clinically prevalent symptom in women, and can be ameliorated by the change of abdominal muscles and pelvic floor muscle (PFM). This study investigated the efficacy of Pilates program using Oov and mat on the change of abdominal muscle thickness, PFM function, and LUTS clinical score. 53 women experiencing LUTS were randomly assigned to Oov Pilates exercise group (OPEG) (n=20), mat Pilates exercise group (MPEG) (n= 16), and symptomatic control group (SCG) (n=17), respectively, and two groups using Oov and mat participated in 8-week Pilates program. Thickness of abdominal muscle, functional movement of PFM, and LUTS clinical score were measured from all groups. Thickness of rectus abdominis, internal oblique abdominis, transversus abdominis was significantly improved in OPEG (P<0.05), however, MPEG showed a significant change only in transversus abdominis (P<0.05). In all abdominal muscles, OPEG had a significantly improved abdominal muscle thickness compared to SCG (P<0.05). Functional movement of PFM in OPEG was significantly decreased (P<0.005), but not in MPEG and SCG. In LUTS clinical score, OPEG and MPEG showed a significantly abated symptoms in degree of voiding-related symptoms and discomfort (P<0.005), but not in SCG. Our study highlighted that Pilates using Oov can be an effective intervention to ameliorate the quantitative quality of abdominal muscle thickness and PFM, which ultimately provides the satisfied self-clinical index in degree of voiding-related symptoms and discomfort.

Keywords: Core exercise; Core muscle; Genitourinary disorder; Micturition; Pilates; Urinary incontinence.