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Women with and without Self-reported Stress Urinary Incontinence Walk Differently before and after 16-ounce Water Consumption

Erin Hartigan PT, DPT, PhD; J. Adrienne McAuley PT, DPT, MEd; Michael Lawrence MS

Does a full bladder impact gait mechanics? Do women with stress urinary incontinence (SUI) use different neuromuscular strategies during gait when the bladder is full vs empty? Can we begin to think of exercise with a full bladder as a way of providing a challenge to the system when prescribing exercise? These are questions that researchers attempted to answer with the present study.

The authors reported the following findings:

Women in both groups (n=42) responded to the full-bladder condition by decreasing hip external rotation angles, increasing step time, and reducing cadence;

Women with SUI demonstrated decreased hip flexion angles with empty and full bladder;

Women with SUI use an aberrant neuromuscular strategy compared to those who do not have SUI demonstrating reduced limb differences for hip external rotation with full bladder, decreased hip abduction moments in the non-dominant limb, increased hip abduction moments in dominant limb.

Read the research report or watch the video abstract to find out more about what these findings may imply for clinical practice.

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