Pelvic floor dyssynergia and bimodal rehabilitation: results of combined pelviperineal kinesitherapy and biofeedback training.Int J Colorectal Dis 1998; 13(3):124-30IJ
Dyschezia may be caused by pelvic floor dyssynergia, which takes place when a paradoxical contraction or a failure to relax the pelvic floor muscles occurs during attempts to defecate. The aim of our study was to set up a new bimodal rehabilitation programme for pelvic floor dyssynergia, which combined pelviperineal kinesitherapy and biofeedback, and to evaluate the results of this treatment. Thirty-five patients (age range: 28-64 years; mean age: 42.5 years) from the outpatient unit of the Clinica Chirurgica of the University of Florence, Italy, and an age-matched group of 10 healthy control subjects (age range: 31-59 years; mean age 45.7 years) with normal bowel habits and without any defecatory disorders, were studied. The 35 patients were symptomatic for dyschezia without slow colonic transit and had been diagnosed as being affected by pelvic floor dyssynergia. No evidence of any organic aetiology was present but all demonstrated both manometric and radiological evidence of inappropriate function of the pelvic floor. All of the patients underwent bimodal rehabilitation, using the combined training programme Clinical evaluation, computerized anorectal manometry and defecography were carried out 1 week before and 1 week after a completed course in bimodal rehabilitation. The control group underwent manometric and defecographic examination. Their results were compared with those of the 35 patients before and after training. After the programme, all 35 patients had a very significant increase in stool frequency (P < 0.001), while laxative and enema-induced bowel movements had become significantly less frequent (P < 0.001). After bimodal rehabilitation, computerized anorectal manometry showed some peculiar results. Resting anal canal pressure had increased but not significantly. Pre-programme values that indicated a shorter duration ("exhaustio") of maximal voluntary contraction than found in the controls had returned to normal values. The rectoanal inhibitory reflex (RAIR), with incomplete relaxation, which had been shorter than that of controls, became normal by the end of the rehabilitation. All RAIR parameters were significantly different especially when pre- and post-treatment values were compared (P < 0.001). No differences were found as regards rectal sensation parameters and rectal compliance between those before or after bimodal rehabilitation. Defecographic pretreatment X-ray films showed indentation of the puborectalis and poor anorectal angle (ARA) opening, at evacuation, with trapping barium of at 50%. After pelviperineal kinesitherapy and biofeedback training, the indentation had disappeared and the ARA had become significantly larger (P < 0.001) during evacuation. No differences were found after rehabilitation, when both were compared with those of controls. The pelvic floor descent was also significantly deeper (P < 0.001) than before the start of the programme. The bimodal rehabilitation technique can be considered a useful therapeutic option for functional dyschezia as shown by our clinical evaluations, manometric data and defecographic reports.