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AHT technique to treat leaky bladder/prolapse may not actually be helping

1 week, 1 day ago

289  0
Posted on Dec 07, 2017, 7 a.m.

Experts have concluded that abdominal hypopressive technique and workout commonly marketed to manage symptoms of womb prolapse and/or leaky bladder does not have any actual scientific evidence as proof that it actually works.

Experts have concluded that abdominal hypopressive technique and workout commonly marketed to manage symptoms of womb prolapse and/or leaky bladder does not have any actual scientific evidence as proof that it actually works. The editorial has been published in British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Abdominal hypopressive technique, AHT for short, is taught by some 1500 coaches in 14 countries and is widely advertised on social media as well as TV. It was developed in the 1980s by Dr Marcel Caufriez, a physical therapist. It is a corrective postural and breathing technique with a goal to lessen abdominal pressure. Theory behind it being that it can activate muscles in the pelvic floor and in the abdominal wall lessening pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence. This involves taking deep breathes in through the diaphragm while contracting the abdominal muscles, fully breathing out keeping the muscles contracted, and then holding the breath for a few seconds before relaxing.

AHT is only one of many methods which are breathing exercises and posture correction based, others include Tai Chi and Pilates. All of which have been suggested as ways of treating and preventing urinary incontinence and prolapse. Trial data indicates questionable effects for using the techniques, but in the case of AHT it had absolutely no evidence at all, which includes when it was added to doing exercises for the pelvic floor muscles called Kegels that for which there is strong evidence supporting the effectiveness of. Kegels were introduced by Arnold Kegel in the 1940s.

Professor Kari Bø, of the Norwegian School of Sport Science, Oslo, Norway, and Mr Sa?l Martín-Rodríguez, of the College of Physical Education, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain, say there is huge worldwide interest, but AHT lacks any scientific data to support its claim of benefits. Adding that it is based on a theory running on 20 years of clinical practice, concluding as it stands there is no scientific evidence to recommend AHT to patients and that not all recommended treatments are evidence based.

Story Source:

Materials provided by BMJ. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Saúl Martín-Rodríguez, Kari Bø. Is abdominal hypopressive technique effective in the prevention and treatment of pelvic floor dysfunction? Marketing or evidence from high-quality clinical trials? British Journal of Sports Medicine, 2017; bjsports-2017-098046 DOI: 10.1136/bjsports-2017-098046

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