Last updated on December 2018

The Effect of Footwear Generated Biomechanical Manipulation on Symptoms of Stress Urinary Incontinence


Brief description of study

FGBMM (footwear generated biomechanical manipulation) effects neuromuscular patterns of pelvic muscles. While there have been no published studies to our knowledge investigating the effect of FGBMM on urinary incontinence, FGBMM causes perturbations in balance and gait that create dynamics similar to dynamic lumbosacral stabilization exercises. The investigators propose that FGBMM induces the same bio-mechanical improvements as LPSE (lumbopelvic stabilization exercises) which have shown benefit for incontinence. Instead of instructing patients to co-contract the lower trunk and pelvic floor muscles as commonly done for LPSE, the shoes used in FGBMM can be calibrated in a way that causes this co-contraction to occur without the patient realizing. Beneficial pelvis and spine positioning can also be accomplished by strategic placement of the pods without having to instruct the patient on complicated maneuvers. Capitalizing on the excellent adherence and clinical benefits of FGBMM on related conditions, the investigators propose to evaluate the effects of FGBMM in addition to pelvic floor therapy for improving the symptoms of stress urinary incontinence in an urban inner city population.

Detailed Study Description

FGBMM (footwear generated biomechanical manipulation) effects neuromuscular patterns of pelvic muscles. While there have been no published studies to our knowledge investigating the effect of FGBMM on urinary incontinence, FGBMM has been shown to cause perturbations in balance and gait that create dynamics similar to dynamic lumbosacral stabilization exercises. In support of this theory, although not published, one of the founders of the technique, Avi Elbaz, has noted anecdotal evidence that patients who had SUI (stress urinary incontinence) and underwent FGBMM for knee or low back pain reported improvement of incontinence. The investigators propose that FGBMM induces the same bio-mechanical improvements as LPSE (lumbopelvic stabilization exercises) which have shown benefit for incontinence. The pods on the footwear can be positioned to challenge the patients balance in a manner similar to the way trampolines are utilized in LPSE. Instead of instructing patients to co-contract the lower trunk and pelvic floor muscles as commonly done for LPSE, the shoes used in FGBMM can be calibrated in a way that causes this co-contraction to occur without the patient realizing. Beneficial pelvis and spine positioning can also be accomplished by strategic placement of the pods without having to instruct the patient on complicated maneuvers. An additional advantage of FGBMM is that this exercise is done with increased intra-abdominal pressure mimicking the condition and the setting when incontinence occurs rather than static exercise that is used in PFT. While performing regular activities, people are naturally squatting and doing other activities that increase intra-abdominal pressure. Furthermore, FGBMM is more practical for people with busy schedules because it can be accomplished with a much smaller time commitment from the patient than traditional PFT since it is done during normal activity. Capitalizing on the excellent adherence and clinical benefits of FGBMM on related conditions, the investigators propose to evaluate the effects of FGBMM in addition to pelvic floor therapy for improving the symptoms of stress urinary incontinence in an urban inner city population.

A potential use of FGBMM using shoes as a addition to traditional pelvic floor therapy may yield a more effective therapy with better adherence. Problems with traditional therapy include poor patient adherence (patients often do not complete the sessions and have poor adherence (about 50%), lack of the continuation in an ongoing program, leading to relapse and need for re treatment or even little clinical benefit. Additionally, access to pelvic floor therapy is limited for many patients since there are not enough available outpatient therapy services to meet the needs of all patients. Finding an additional exercise program that will increase adherence and improve patient outcomes with better clinical benefits is a high priority from both patient care and cost management perspectives.

FGBMM using shoes potentially overcomes many of these issues with improving/modifying abnormal biomechanics of pelvic floor muscles (therefore decreasing incontinence), and a home based exercise program utilizing footwear that causes exercise with normal activity by promoting perturbation. This bio-mechanical approach may significantly improve the symptoms of urinary incontinence in patients with Stress SUI or Mixed urinary incontinence. Capitalizing on the reported excellent adherence and clinical benefit of FGBMM in patients with related conditions, the investigators propose to evaluate the bio-mechanical exercise (wearing an appropriately calibrated shoe at home for a prescribed amount of time each day) as a conservative treatment that may supplement traditional pelvic floor therapy, medications and even surgical intervention for the same in an inner urban city population.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03194789

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