Pelvic Floor Symptoms and Spinal Curvature in Women

Academic Article


  • To characterize the association between thoracic (T) and lumbar (L) spinal curvature and pelvic floor (PF) symptoms (pelvic organ prolapse, urinary incontinence [UI], fecal incontinence [FI]). Methods Of women undergoing a bone mineral density scan from January 2007 to October 2010, patients who completed PF symptom questionnaires and had T and/or L spine radiographs or computed tomography examinations within 3 years of questionnaire completion were included in this study. The spine angles were measured using the Cobb angle method. The T and L curvatures were categorized as hypokyphosis (<20°), normal T kyphosis (20-40°), hyperkyphosis (>40°), hypolordosis (<40°), normal L lordosis (40-70°), and hyperlordosis (>70°). The presence and type of UI were identified with the 3 Incontinence Questionnaire and FI with the Modified Manchester Questionnaire. Pelvic organ prolapse was defined as a positive response to the presence of a bulge question from the PF Distress Inventory-20. Results Of 1665 eligible women, 824 and 302 (mean age 64 ± 10 for both) had T and L spine images, respectively. No differences in PF symptoms were observed in the T or L spine groups categorized by hypo-, normal, and hyperkyphosis/lordosis except for urgency UI being more prevalent in the hypolordosis group (P = 0.01). However, upon further characterization using logistic regression, no association was noted between PF symptoms and T or L spine angles; no differences in the mean angles were found between women with versus without PF symptoms (P ≥ 0.05). Conclusions The current study shows that the T and L spinal curvatures are not associated with the presence of PF symptoms.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Meyer I; McArthur TA; Tang Y; McKinney JL; Morgan SL; Richter HE
  • Start Page

  • 219
  • End Page

  • 223
  • Volume

  • 22
  • Issue

  • 4