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Hip Angles, Joint Moments, and Muscle Activity during Gait in Women with and without Self-reported Stress Urinary Incontinence

Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy

Hartigan, Erin PT, DPT, PhD; McAuley, J. Adrienne PT, DPT, MEd; Lawrence, Michael MS; Brucker, Willis PT, DPT; King, Adam PT, DPT; Tryon, Brooks PT, DPT; DeSilva, Mary ScD, MS

A recent #JWHPT report objectively describes the biomechanics of gait in women with stress urinary incontinence (SUI) vs women without SUI in order to determine if there are differences in motor patterns. This descriptive study was part of a larger study that explored PFM function, hip function, and gait biomechanics in women with and without SUI.

Hip angles, moments (net forces), and muscle activity were analyzed during 3 phases of stance using 3-dimensional cameras, force plates, and surface electromyography. Values were compared between groups (SUI, n = 21; no SUI, n = 20) and limbs (dominant vs nondominant). Researchers found that women with SUI demonstrated the following characteristics that differed from women without SUI: 

  • ↓ strength, endurance, and impaired timing of muscle activity recruitment of pelvic floor muscles
  • ↓ effectiveness of non-dominant limb in controlling hip position 
  • ↓ strength hip abductors and external rotators 
  • ↑ hip adduction and internal rotation angles during weight acceptance and midstance with their non-dominant leg only
  • ↑ gluteus maximus muscle activity

Watch the video abstract and read the research report to learn more about gait differences in women with and without stress urinary incontinence.

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