To examine the influence of hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle on deep fasciae.
A total of 29 women, 17 users and 12 non-users of hormonal contraceptives, were examined clinically and by ultrasound, including shear-wave elastography, at two phases of the menstrual cycle. The thickness and elasticity of the fascia lata, thoracolumbar fascia, and plantar fascia were measured, compared between hormonal contraceptive users and non-users, and correlated with clinical data.
There were statistically significant differences between users and non-users of hormonal contraceptives: the thoracolumbar fascia was thicker in non-users (p = 0.011), and non-users had higher maximal and mean stiffnesses of the fascia lata (p = 0.01 and p = 0.0095, respectively). Generally, non-users had a higher body mass index (BMI). The elasticity of the thoracolumbar and the plantar fasciae did not differ significantly between the groups. We found no correlation between thickness and elasticity in the fasciae. There were no statistically significant differences in hypermobility, cephalgia, or dysmenorrhea between users and non-users of hormonal contraceptives.
The results of this pilot study suggest that deep fasciae can be evaluated by shear wave elastography. Non-users of contraceptives had greater stiffness of the fascia lata and higher BMI. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.