Pelvic floor electromyography in men with chronic pelvic pain syndrome: A case-control study




The objectives of this study were (1) to identify differences between men with chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CPPS), compared with pain-free men, in surface electromyography/biofeedback (sEMG/BFB) readings of pelvic floor muscles and (2) to determine which pelvic floor muscle sEMG readings may have differential diagnostic and treatment selection value by accurately predicting group membership, CPPS versus normal.


Twenty-one men with CPPS and 21 healthy men without pelvic pain underwent a standardized sEMG examination by a licensed physical therapist.


On group difference measures men with CPPS showed significantly greater sEMG instability in preliminary resting baseline. Three sEMG measures reliably categorized CPPS versus normals with CPPS showing greater preliminary resting baseline hypertonicity and instability with lowered voluntary endurance contraction amplitude.


CPPS patients manifest pelvic floor muscle instability compared to normals. Prebaseline resting hypertonicity and instability along with endurance contraction weakness reliably predicts subject membership in the CPPS vs. normal group. Pelvic floor muscle sEMG may be a valuable screening tool to identify patients with CPPS who may benefit from therapies aimed at correcting pelvic floor muscle dysfunction. Neurourol. Urdynam. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.