Proprioception in stress urinary incontinence: A narrative review




Urinary incontinence (UI) is more common than any other chronic disease. Stress urinary incontinence (SUI), among
the various forms of urinary incontinence, is the most prevalent (50%) type of this condition. Female urinary continence is maintained
through an integrated function of pelvic floor muscles (PFMs), fascial structures, nerves, supporting ligaments, and the vagina. In women
with SUI, the postural activity of the PFMs is delayed and the balance ability is decreased. Many women, by learning the correct timing
of a pelvic floor contraction during a cough, are able to eliminate consequent SUI. Timing is an important function of motor coordination
and could be affected by proprioception. This study was conducted to review and outline the literature on proprioception as a contributory
factor in SUI.


PubMed, Scopus, and Google Scholar databases were systematically searched from 1998 to 2017 for articles on the topic
of pathophysiology, motor control alterations, and proprioception role in women with SUI.


A total of 6 articles addressed the importance of proprioception in motor control and its alterations in women with SUI. There
were also publications on postural control, balance, and timing alterations in women with SUI in the literature. However, there was no
research on measuring proprioception in the pelvic floor in this group.


Both the strength of the PFMs and the contraction timing and proprioception are important factors in maintaining
continence. Thus, conducting research on PFMs proprioception in women with SUI, as a cause of incontinence, is encouraged.

Keywords: Stress urinary incontinence, Pelvic floor muscles, Proprioception, Balance, Postural activity