New Zealand College of Chiropractic student Jenna Duehr has won the New Investigator Research Poster Award at the combined World Chiropractic Congress and Association of Chiropractic Colleges Research Agenda Conference in Washington DC. Jenna won this award for her poster on the female pelvic floor research project being carried out at the College's Centre for Chiropractic Research.

Jenna is the mother of two young children, a student of chiropractic at the College and at the same time doing her Masters Degree at AUT in Auckland. She is truly phenomenal and we are so proud to have her as part of our research team.

Project Abstract

Chiropractic spinal manipulation improves the onset of contractions of female pelvic floor muscle.

Jenna Duehr, Imran Khan Niazi, Rasmus Wiberg, Kelly Holt, Heidi Haavik

Objectives

Previous research has shown that the superficial pelvic floor muscles ideally contract on average 21ms before the deep. This study investigated whether chiropractic care improves the timing of deep vs superficial pelvic floor muscle contractions.

Methods

To date 20 nulliparous women with no symptoms of pelvic floor muscle dysfunction have attended a screening session. Onset timings of the deep and superficial pelvic floor muscles were recorded using a 64 channel EMG vaginal probe during pelvic floor muscle contractions. 8 subjects demonstrated deep PFM’s contracting before the superficial muscles. 6 subjects were retested with no intervention, then all subjects received a session of chiropractic care before retesting. Differences in deep to superficial contraction timing were assessed using a paired sample t-test.

Results

Preliminary findings for this study showed abnormal contraction patterns were consistent when no intervention was applied (r=0.77). After the chiropractic session the onset timings of the deep and superficial pelvic floor muscles improved by 45.1ms (p=0.03).

Conclusion

The preliminary findings of this study suggest that a single session of chiropractic care improves the onset of contractions of the deep vs superficial pelvic floor muscles in women with no symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction.