Hypopressives has been used within urogynaecology in countries like Belgium, Spain and France for decades and is now gaining momentum in the UK as a conservative treatment for women experiencing pelvic floor symptoms, due to strong anecdotal evidence and new research studies.
With the recent mesh scandal, and report by Baroness Cumberlege, new innovative physical therapy treatments are desperately needed within women's health - and Hypopressives are proving effective in helping to improve women's lives and reduce or eliminate symptoms of incontinence and / or prolapse.
In the next few blog posts I'm going to look at 3 studies which show Hypopressives can be an effective treatment option for women:
Soriano et al, 2020, 'Effect of an abdominal hypopressive technique programme on pelvic floor muscle tone and urinary incontinence in women: a randomised crossover trial', Physiotherapy, vol. 108, pp37-44.
This research study shows that a 2 month Hypopressive programme improves pelvic floor muscle (PFM) tone and urinary incontinence (UI) symptoms - but also sense of wellbeing and improved body image
A randomised crossover trial
Journal of Physiotherapy Spain
Aim was to test the effect of a structured Hypopressives programme on PFM tone and UI in women
42 women - 2 groups
Group 1 - Hypopressives for 2 months followed by rest
Group 2 - Rest followed by 2 months Hypopressives
Assessments included PFM tone & urinary incontinence symptom questionairre (ICIQ-IU-SF) & satisfaction
Findings: The data shows a structured 2 month Hypopressives programme gave women short-term benefits in PFM tone and UI symptoms. Participants also reported improved body image, sense of wellbeing and programme satisfaction
The authors concluded that more research is needed to test the long-term effects and effectiveness of Hypopressives compared to other PFM exercises, but the short-term findings are positive
Why is this study important?
PFM tone has not been commonly measured in trials of UI - and it appears to be a reliable measure of strength - so there are positive results here
There are additional benefits - wellbeing etc, which women often report as anecdotal evidence, but the study helps confirm this
In Part 2, I'll be summarising a study which suggests first time mums get more improvements with Hypopressives compared to normal PFEs with levator ani muscle thickness - which is the largest component of the pelvic floor.