2021 Fall Symposium

Pre-Recorded Sessions | 6 Contact Hours

The purpose of this 1-day virtual symposium is to connect Physical Therapists/Physiotherapists, Physical Therapist Assistants and physical therapy students across the globe and highlight special topics and treatment techniques within the field of pelvic health physical therapy. This virtual symposium is worth 6 contact hours.


  • Academy PT Member: $190 (Join)
  • Non-Member: $240

Thank You to Our Sponsors!

Gold Sponsor
Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsor

Women's Health Logo

Muscles and Tendons and…Menopause
1 Hour 

Speaker: Michelle Lyons, PT

Estrogen has over 300 different functions in the female body, including the musculo-skeletal system.  This presentation will give an overview of the effects of menopause on the musculo-skeletal effects of menopause, from an intra-pelvic and extra-pelvic perspective, beyond the usual focus on purely bone health. We know that exercise is the foundation to good health at every life stage but especially so at menopause; unfortunately muscle and joint pain, as well as pelvic health concerns, may be barriers to exercise participation. We’ll look at muscle function (why is it harder to build muscle after menopause and what can we do?) tendinopathies (why do we see them spike at menopause) and of course, an evidence based strategy to counteract these effects and help people live well during and after menopause.

Learning Objectives:
After attending this lecture, the attendee will:
1. Understand the role of estrogen on muscle, tendon and connective tissue
2. Recognize the need to consider the global musculo-skeletal effects of menopause, not just in pelvic health, but in the whole person
3. Appreciate the need for a biopsychosocial & evidence based approach to acknowledging & dealing with these issues, in the interests of preventing premature morbidity and mortality

The Secrets to Becoming a Stronger Patient Educator in Pelvic Health
1 Hour 

Speaker: Karla Wente, PT, DPT, CLT, Board-Certified Women’s Health Clinical Specialist  

What kind of educator are you? Your answer to that question might be, “But I’m not a teacher. I’m a physical therapist.” In this presentation I hope to convince you that we, as physical therapists, need to be both. Recent research has indicated that we may not actually be cultivating self-management, independence, and empowered shared decision making with our patients in physical therapy. We all hope that our patients leave sessions with what they have learned indelibly etched in their memories. Unfortunately research also shows us that often that is not the case. Patient/therapist interactions that are not real learning experiences are not only lost opportunities, but they can have negative consequences such as patient disempowerment, dependency on physical therapy treatments, decreased bodily autonomy, and perhaps even worsening of symptoms. But, there is hope. Becoming stronger patient educators can help us to facilitate true empowerment in our patients, help them learn and retain information from our sessions, and ultimately allow them to leave our care with a greater sense of independence and confidence in their capabilities. The ‘patient educator’ is even more important in a specialty field like pelvic health. The information that we are communicating is usually new and unusual for many of our patients. In addition to breaking past the “taboo” of pelvic health topics, we need to shift our focus to truly educating, empowering, and inspiring our patients. Being ‘teaching physical therapists’ will also make us better advocates for change in our field. In this session, you will learn foundational values of being a stronger patient educator, and helpful tips and strategies to apply these concepts specifically to care of patients in the pelvic health specialty.

By the end of this session, the participant will be able to:
1. Know the core values and theories of being a stronger patient educator
2. Apply concepts of patient education to pelvic health physical therapy
3. Develop plans of care that include shared decision making

Increased PFM Tone and Over Activity of the PFM – Distinct and different conditions
1 Hour 

Speaker: Beth Shelly PT, DPT, BCB-PMD Board-Certified Women’s Health Specialist

Course description – This 1hr lecture will review in detail increased PFM tone in all its forms including hypertonicity, spasticity, over activity, EMG findings and more.  Each of these terms is different and distinct. PFM assessment and treatment planning for these conditions will be included.  Recognition of the proper condition leads to providing the proper treatment. Many pelvic PTs do not understand how to choose PFM treatment modalities accurately.  My goal is to help pelvic PTs provide the best treatment for patients by fully understanding increased PFM tone.   All discussion used the recently published International Continence Society Standard terms document for PFM Assessment.

Course objectives – at the end of this course participants will be able to:

  • Understand PFM manual assessment of increased PFM tone including external observation, external palpation, internal palpation during rest and internal palpation during contraction
  • Discuss PFM assessment using EMG and other investigations of tone
  • List increased PFM diagnosis and findings with their possible treatments

Level – intermediate, advanced

Hip Dysplasia: A Hidden Differential in Pelvic Health
1 Hour 

Speakers: Jenny LaCross PT, DPT, PhD(c), ATC, CLT-LANA

The hip is a complex region with numerous structures referring pain to this area, specifically the groin. Non-arthritic hip conditions in active adults are increasingly more common in patients presenting to out-patient pelvic health physical therapy. While research and knowledge dissemination surrounding femoral acetabular impingement syndrome (FAIS) has rapidly increased over the past five years, the same trend has not held true for acetabular dysplasia. Pelvic floor symptoms commonly co-exist in female patients presenting with non-arthritic hip pathology (and vice versa), highlighting the need for pelvic health practitioners to expand their understanding of acetabular dysplasia. The purpose of this course is to provide participants with an overview of acetabular dysplasia and its associated impairments in order to more effectively guide clinical examination and intervention decisions in pelvic health practice.

At the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Understand the structural abnormalities and clinical presentation of an individual with hip dysplasia
  2. Describe the functional relationship between the hip and pelvic floor
  3. Differentiate between hip-related and non-hip related pelvic floor symptoms

Enhanced Recovery after Cesarean Hysterectomy with Acute Care Rehabilitation
1 Hour 

Speaker: Rebeca Segraves, PT, DPT Board-Certified as a Women’s Health Clinical Specialist

Acute care therapists routinely provide interventions to enhance recovery after abdominal surgery involving gallbladder removal, large bowel resection, exploratory laparotomy, hernia repair, and appendectomy. Postoperative rehabilitation after abdominal surgery reduces hospital length of stay and improves cardiopulmonary response, gastrointestinal function, wound healing, and activity tolerance.1 Despite these benefits and the increased activity demands involving newborn care, physical therapy is not routinely provided after cesarean section or when a hysterectomy is performed at the time of delivery, known as a cesarean hysterectomy. Cesarean hysterectomy may be planned or emergent to treat both uncontrolled bleeding and placental abnormalities associated with scarring from previous uterine surgeries or cesarean sections.2,3 Cesarean section is the most common inpatient procedure in the United States and carries a significantly higher risk of future hysterectomy when compared to vaginal delivery2,3. Planned, or emergent cesarean hysterectomy is associated with high maternal morbidity involving hemorrhage and urinary track injury.3,4Maternal morbidity associated with this major, open abdominal surgery is further compounded by a longer recovery in the absence of early intervention to optimize incision protection during mobility, ADLs, and while caring for a newborn.5 Acute care therapists are especially qualified to reduce the burden of recovery following abdominal surgery through functionally relevant interventions for mothers navigating ADLs and infant care.5 Following this presentation, therapists will be encouraged to identify and address the needs of maternal health populations following cesarean hysterectomy, and similar procedures, who will benefit from inpatient rehabilitation services to enhance their recovery and postpartum function.

1. Therapists will learn to utilize physical performance measurements within 24 hours of cesarean hysterectomy to identify impairments in mobility, cardiopulmonary response to activity, and barriers to returning home safely.
2. Therapists will be able to communicate effective positioning and mobility strategies for pain management, incision protection, and performance of ADLs and newborn care while maintaining surgical precautions within 24 hours of cesarean hysterectomy.
3. Therapists will identify patients after cesarean hysterectomy who will benefit from home health or outpatient rehabilitation to improve their activity tolerance, safety with newborn care, and reduce their risk of post-surgical complications.

Management of Cancer-Related Sexual Dysfunction

1 Hour 

Speaker: Alexandra Hill, PT, DPT, CLT-LANA  Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Oncology Physical Therapy, Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Women’s Health Physical Therapy

The number of cancer survivors and cancer survivors living longer continues to increase as cancer screening and treatment improves. This has led to a growing need for better management of survivorship concerns, including sexual function. Cancer treatment interventions like chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation can have a negative impact on the physical and psychosocial aspects of sexual health, both acutely and long-term. Although over 60% of cancer survivors experience sexual dysfunction, it is commonly overlooked and often, needs are not met. Furthermore, populations including the LGBT+ community and adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer survivors are more likely to have unmet sexual health survivorship needs. This session will provide education about the common medical treatment interventions for cancer, cancer-related sexual health dysfunction, and how physical therapists can address the unique sexual health needs experienced by cancer survivors.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this lecture, participants will be able to:

  1. Understand common medical interventions for cancer treatment
  2. Identify sexual health impairments experienced due to cancer and cancer treatment
  3. Describe physical therapy treatment interventions for cancer-related sexual dysfunction