The majority of practitioners begin their pelvic rehabilitation journey by taking Pelvic Floor Level 1, which is an excellent starting point. This course provides the basics of anatomy, techniques, and knowledge needed to start treating patients. 

Another option for your pelvic floor journey is the Oncology of the Pelvic Floor Level 1 remote course. Caring for patients with cancer begins at diagnosis, and as a pelvic rehabilitation practitioner, you are an integral part of the oncology team. This course addresses the issues commonly seen in a patient who has been diagnosed with cancer. 

Several cancers can affect the pelvic region and pelvic floor. Such cancers include bladder, colorectal, prostate, and ovarian cancers. Treatments for pelvic cancers include surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and pelvic rehabilitation. These treatment options depend on the tumor size, location, or stage and negatively affect pelvic floor function and quality of life. 

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How do healthcare practitioners improve patient satisfaction? Patient satisfaction is a cognitive evaluation of an emotional reaction to their health-care experience. According to multiple studies, the most significant predictor of patient satisfaction is the quality of their conversations with their medical practitioners.

Patients care about:

  • Being listened to
  • Being treated courteously and respectfully
  • Being involved in decisions about their healthcare
  • Receiving clear explanations about their medical status and treatment

This is good news because they are all factors that you can control. Practitioners who take the time to communicate clearly, listen intently, understand each patient as an individual, and respond compassionately can improve their patients’ satisfaction and treatment outcomes. As Lauren Mansell stated in an interview with H&W, you have to “know what questions to ask patients for treatment. Our patients often feel alone, are frustrated with medical treatments, and feel like no one can address their symptoms.”

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The following is our interview with Jennifer Eller, PT, DPT, PRPC. Jenni recently passed the Pelvic Rehabilitation Practitioner Certification (PRPC) exam. She practices at Enloe Medical Center in Chico, CA and is a Teaching Assistant for local California satellite courses with H&W. Jenni was kind enough to share some thoughts about her career with us. Thank you, Jenni - and congratulations on receiving your PRPC!


Q: Who are you? Describe your clinical practice.

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Portions of this blog are from an interview with Dustienne Miller. Dustienne is the creator of the two-day course Yoga for Pelvic Pain. She passionately believes in the integration of physical therapy and yoga in a holistic model of care, helping individuals navigate through pelvic pain and incontinence to live a healthy and pain-free life. 

Have you noticed when you are afraid or don’t want to feel something you hold your breath? Imagine what it's like to have daily pain that limits function and how that could impact rib cage, abdominal and pelvic floor expansion. Dustienne Miller discusses this in her remote course, Yoga for Pelvic Pain, upcoming on July 31 - August 1, 2021. Her course focuses on two of the eight limbs of Patanjali’s eightfold path: pranayama (breathing) and asana (postures) and how they can be applied for patients who have hip, back, and pelvic pain. 

Dustienne explains "We teach our patients how breathing patterns inform our digestion, our spine, our emotional state, our pelvic floor, etc. It’s one of the most powerful tools we have to inform our system that we are safe. Despite this knowledge, we will often find ourselves holding our breath or breathing in non-optimal ways without even realizing it." Dustienne focuses her practice on introducing yoga to patients within the medical model. Yoga can be included in pelvic rehabilitation in so many ways, including incorporating yoga home programs as therapeutic exercise and neuromuscular re-education (both between visits and after discharge). 

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This blog contains an interview with Alyson N Lowrey, PT, DPT, OCS. Alyson treats the pelvic floor patient population through an orthopedic approach, working closely with pelvic floor specialists. Alyson’s clinical interests include evaluation/treatment of chronic pain, lumbar and cervical spine disorders, foot and ankle disorders, pelvic pain, and clinical instruction. Alyson is the co-instructor for the new H&W course, Pain Science for the Chronic Pelvic Pain Population - Remote Course scheduled for July 17-18, 2021.

Q: Who are you? Describe your clinical practice.

A: I work in an outpatient hospital-based clinic where I am able to provide true 1:1 care to patients of all ages and orthopedic conditions. Since pelvic floor therapy came to our clinic, I have developed strong clinical and personal relationships with pelvic floor therapists. We have been able to successfully combine our respective expertise into a wholistic approach for improving patient’s functional outcomes. My knowledge and relationships with pelvic floor therapy have allowed me as an ortho clinician to recognize when a patient’s dysfunction may have a pelvic floor component and refer appropriately. I am also in a unique opportunity where my pelvic floor colleagues will co-treat or transition care of a patient to me to continue to improve their overall function by providing functional strengthening and neuromuscular re-education to the pelvic floor musculature and other supportive muscular systems. This relationship also allows us to treat comorbid orthopedic conditions and pelvic dysfunctions such as low back pain or SIJ dysfunction as well.

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Herman & Wallace currently has satellite courses, remote courses, and online courses offered through our partner, Medbridge. These online courses provide education and patient engagement tools for pelvic floor dysfunction. H&W faculty have put together a collection of online continuing education courses with our partners at MedBridge. These convenient learning resources and can be purchased individually or as part of an annual subscription

The truth is that we all have hectic busy schedules that can make setting aside time for a live course can be difficult. Annual subscribers get access to all 800+ courses on the Medbridge site, their Home Exercise Program, and Patient Engagement platforms! As a Herman & Wallace referral, you are eligible for a discounted subscription with access to all of the content at MedBridge with promo code HWoverview.

Heather Rader, PT, DPT, PRPC, BCB-PMD recorded a new series for Medbridge last summer. Her courses explore:

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The following is our interview with Jazma Dobbins PT, DPT, PRPC, CAPP-Pelvic. Jazma recently passed the Pelvic Rehabilitation Practitioner Certification (PRPC) exam. She practices in at TherapySouth in Gadsen, AL and is a Teaching Assistant for local Alabama satellite courses with H&W. Jazma was kind enough to share some thoughts about her career with us. Thank you, Jazma - and congratulations on receiving your PRPC!


Q: How did you get involved in the pelvic rehabilitation field?

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This blog contains excerpts from an interview with Tara Sullivan, PT, DPT, PRPC, WCS, IF. Tara started in the healthcare field as a massage therapist, practicing over ten years including three years of teaching massage and anatomy and physiology. Tara has specialized exclusively in Pelvic Floor Dysfunction treating bowel, bladder, sexual dysfunctions, and pelvic pain since 2012. 

Acute pain can indicate specific injury to the body. Chronic pain is very different. With Chronic Pelvic Pain (CPP) the initial injury has healed, but the pain continues because of changes in the nervous system, muscles, and tissues. Recognizing that the nervous system influences pain perception, especially in the chronic pelvic pain population, is the first step in treating these patients, but is it enough? Tara Sullivan and Alyson Lowrey are presenting a new remote course on chronic pelvic pain called Pain Science for the Chronic Pelvic Pain Population scheduled for July 17-18, 2021.

The medical definition of pain is an unpleasant feeling that is conveyed to the brain by sensory neurons. Pain is a universal experience that serves to alert the brain to potential damage to the body. It performs the function of triggering avoidance to preserve itself from harm. Oddly, the strength and unpleasantness of pain is not directly related to the nature or extent of the damage. 

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This blog contains excerpts from an interview with Pamela A. Downey, PT, DPT, WCS, BCB-PMD, PRPC, Pamela is a Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Women’s Health Physical Therapy and Board Certified in Biofeedback for Pelvic Muscle Dysfunction. She is the owner of Partnership in Therapy, private practice in Coral Gables, Florida. Dr. Downey's treatment focuses are pelvic floor dysfunction, urogynecological and colorectal issues, spine dysfunction, osteoporosis, and complaints associated with pregnancy and postpartum. Her mission is to educate and integrate healthy lifestyles for patients on the road to wellness.

Physical therapists often require special training to treat pudendal neuralgia. Pamela A. Downey is partnering with H&W to teach the Pudendal Neuralgia and Nerve Entrapment Remote Course, scheduled for June 19-20, 2021. This course teaches pudendal neuralgia diagnostic skills for practitioners to have an improved impact in treating patients with pudendal nerve/pelvic floor muscle dysfunctions.

Pudendal neuralgia is also known as Alcock’s syndrome, pudendal canal syndrome, or cyclist syndrome. This condition is caused by tension, compression, or entrapment of the pudendal nerve, and leads to pelvic pain, sexual dysfunction, difficulty with urination and defecation, among other issues.

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Working with Physiatry for Pelvic Pain is a new remote course created by Dr. Allyson Shrikhande, scheduled for Jun 27, 2021. This course overviews the synergistic nature of pelvic physiatry with pelvic floor physical therapy, in hopes of promoting collaboration for the care of male and female chronic pelvic pain patients.

Dr. Allyson Shrikhande is a board-certified Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation specialist and is the Chair of the Medical Education Committee for the International Pelvic Pain Society. Allyson has published peer-reviewed articles on the treatment of muscle pain in academic journals and works closely with renowned pelvic pain gynecologists and urologists. Taking a team approach, she works with specialists in pelvic floor physical therapy, kinetics and movement, as well as acupuncturists, nutritionists, cognitive-behavioral therapists, and functional medicine physicians.

The following is our interview with Allyson Shrikhande on physiatry.

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