Cross-Industry Collaboration

PACER Series: Pelvic Health Considerations

Many of the patients who survive COVID-19 will demonstrate deficits in all major body systems. One system commonly overlooked is the genitourinary (GU) system. One component of the GU system is the pelvic floor diaphragm. The pelvic floor diaphragm, in conjunction with the respiratory diaphragm, act as a pressure regulator of the trunk. By regulating pressures, this group of muscles assists patients with breathing, posture, and movement. Because these are interventions that will be commonly implemented in therapy sessions for patients who survive COVID-19, it is imperative that physical therapists screen the GU system and integrity of the pelvic floor diaphragm. The purpose of this webinar is to provide a further understanding of the relationship between the respiratory and pelvic diaphragms and how to incorporate the pelvic floor into post-COVID-19 physical therapy sessions.

Course Objectives

  1. Understand the influence of how medical management of COVID-19 can impart changes on the thoracic cavity and abdominopelvic cavity, including pelvic floor.
  2. Identify appropriate screening tools for incontinence and pelvic floor dysfunction.
  3. Implement appropriate interventions, including management of intra-abdominal pressures, to reduce bladder and bowel leakage and pelvic floor dysfunction.
  4. Identify when to refer to a pelvic health physical therapist.

This webinar is offered through the APTA Learning Center. This is one module in a series of modules presented by the a group of APTA sections: Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Section, and the Academy of Acute Care Management. This series is free to the profession. 


Karen Snowden, PT, DPT, Board-Certified Women’s Health Clinical Specialist

Dr. Karen Snowden is a Doctor of Physical Therapy, board certified in women’s health (Board-Certified Women's Health Clinical Specialist) and holds specialty certifications through the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) in pelvic floor dysfunction (CAPP-Pelvic) and pregnancy / postpartum (CAPP-OB).  She has 30+ years clinical experience and specializes in women’s and men’s health.  She is known for her comprehensive, holistic approach in helping diverse patients achieve their personal goals, and she is passionate about clinical education.

Karen resides in Allentown, PA.  She received her physical therapy degree from Northeastern University and Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Widener University.  In addition to treating patients, she teaches in the DeSales University Doctor of Physical Therapy Program and mentors physical therapy research.  She’s a national and international speaker educating physical therapists in pelvic, obstetric, and menopause-related conditions and disease prevention.  She co-developed and teaches an evidence-based menopause course to healthcare providers. She is active in the APTA Academy of Pelvic Health Physical Therapy serving on various education committees.


Julie M. Skrzat, PT, DPT, Ph.D., CCS

Dr. Skrzat is an assistant professor in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program. She earned her BS, MS, and DPT degrees from Ithaca College. She received her Ph.D. in Movement Science from Temple University. Dr. Skrzat has practiced extensively in acute care hospital settings, specifically the intensive care units at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA. Dr. Skrzat is an APBTS board certified cardiovascular and pulmonary clinical specialist.