Levator myalgia: Why bother?

Kerrie Adams, W. Thomas Gregory, Blake Osmundsen, Amanda Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


Introduction and hypothesis We report the prevalence of levator myalgia (LM) and describe symptom bother and comorbidities associated with this examination finding. Methods We performed a cross-sectional study of patients referred to urogynecology practices: a private practice (COMM) and a tertiary university-based practice (UNIV). We identified within our population a subset of patients with LM and a reference group without LM. The primary outcome was to report the prevalence of LM within a urogynecology referral population. Our secondary outcomes include mean Pelvic Floor Distress Inventory (PFDI) and Pelvic Floor Impact Questionnaire (PFIQ) scores, medication use, medical co-morbidities, and presence of vulvodynia. Results The prevalence of LM was 24 % at the UNIV detected on 5,618 examinations and 9 % at the COMM based on 946 examinations. Women with LM were significantly younger: mean age 56.8 years vs 65.5 (p<0.001). There was no difference in mean parity (2.3),BMI (28.2 kg/m2), and race (94 % white). Patients with LM reported significantly higher mean symptom bother scores (PFDI, PFIQ; p=<0. 001) related to prolapse, defecatory dysfunction, and urinary symptoms. Women with LM were more likely to report a diagnosis of fibromyalgia (OR 4.4 [1.7, 11.0]), depression (OR 1.8 [1.2, 2.7]), a history of sexual abuse (OR 2.4 [1.3, 4.7]), and use narcotic pain medications (OR 2.5 [1.2, 5.2]). Conclusions Levator myalgia is a prevalent condition in urogynecology practice, and is associated with approximately 50 % greater bother in urinary, defecatory, and prolapse symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1687-1693
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Urogynecology Journal and Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2013


  • Bother
  • Levator myalgia
  • Pelvic floor
  • Pelvic pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Urology

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