Coactivation of abdominal and pelvic-floor muscles (PFM) is an issue considered by researchers recently. Electromyography (EMG) studies have shown that the abdominal-muscle activity is a normal response to PFM activity, and increase in EMG activity of the PFM concomitant with abdominal-muscle contraction was also reported.
The purpose of this study was to compare the changes in EMG activity of the deep abdominal muscles during abdominal-muscle contraction (abdominal hollowing and bracing) with and without concomitant PFM contraction in healthy and low-back-pain (LBP) subjects.
A 2 × 2 repeated-measures design.
30 subjects (15 with LBP, 15 without LBP).
Main Outcome Measures:
Peak rectified EMG of abdominal muscles.
No difference in EMG of abdominal muscles with and without concomitant PFM contraction in abdominal hollowing (P = .84) and abdominal bracing (P = .53). No difference in EMG signal of abdominal muscles with and without PFM contraction between LBP and healthy subjects in both abdominal hollowing (P = .88) and abdominal bracing (P = .98) maneuvers.
Adding PFM contraction had no significant effect on abdominal-muscle contraction in subjects with and without LBP.