Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy

The Official Journal of the Academy of Pelvic Health Physical Therapy

Research at your fingertips.

Our journal is accessible in both digital and print formats allowing you to read it from anywhere. Free for APTA Pelvic Health members but available for purchase for non-members. Whether you are writing your CAPP Case Reflection, completing course work in a DPT program or want to advance your knowledge on the latest evidence available in the women’s health discipline, you will find peer-reviewed articles, book reviews and new research in women’s health physical therapy in our journal.

The Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy (JWHPT) is an enthusiastic proponent of advancing the science of women’s and men’s health, and we encourage authors to submit their research to the journal in accordance with this mission. Despite the fact that it has been 20 years since research funding by the National Institutes of Health was required to include women, there is a still a large gender gap in biomedical research. Women remain underrepresented in all domains of health-related research impacting societal concerns and health care policy. Viewing physical therapy research in this larger context, it is vital to maintain high standards of quality research regarding the health care needs of women.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Menopause
  • Osteoporosis
  • Pediatric Pelvic Health
  • Bowel/Bladder Dysfunction
  • Post-Cancer Rehab/Breast Health
  • Chronic Pain
  • Pre/post-partum
  • Manual Therapy
  • Women’s sports and health promotion
  • Women’s Musculoskeletal Concerns
  • Pelvic Pain

Facebook Journal Club

The Facebook JWHPT Journal Club is open to PTs, PTAs, SPTs and other medical health professionals who are interested in discussing the latest evidence and research.

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Special Issue Highlights
The Fourth Trimester: Optimizing Health

In the first ever Clinical Practice Guidelines for Pelvic Girdle Pain in the Postpartum Population, Simonds and colleagues map out graded recommendations across 6 practice domains to support clinical decision-making. Notably, the synthesized evidence aligns well with the evolving pain science literature base, which has long been lacking where perinatal pelvic pain is concerned. These guidelines grade risk factors, prognostic factors, systems screening, evaluation, and interventions, all highlighting the fact that a pathoantomical care lens does not facilitate evidence-based care.

The chosen clinical commentary Beyond the musculoskeletal system: considering whole-systems readiness for running postpartum by Donnelly and colleagues mounts a strong argument for the consideration of multiple factors outside of the biomechanical and structural domains pertaining to running in the postpartum periods. This article complements the cohort study Biomechanical and musculoskeletal differences between postpartum runners and nulliparous controls by Christopher and colleagues investigating differences in running kinetics, strength, and flexibility in postpartum runners (PPRs) and age-matched nulliparous controls. The between-group differences highlight possible deficits present among PPRs.

Havens and colleagues analyzed survey responses from almost 4000 “babywearing enthusiasts.” The results of Infant Carrying in the United States: A Survey of Current Practices, Physical and Mental Health Benefits and Challenges of Babywearing shed light on various health domains relevant to the fourth trimester from a biopsychosocial perspective, pointing to where physical therapists can level up care.

In a retrospective review of 70 data sets of individuals who sustained third- or fourth-degree birth-related perineum tears, Kim and colleagues explore how Pelvic Health Physical Therapy improves Pelvic Floor Symptoms in women with Obstetric Anal Sphincter Injury.

The issue also includes a welcomed addition to the diastasis rectus abdominis (DRA) literature. Berg-Poppe and colleagues systematically reviewed the current body of conservative care interventions for DRA and included 14 studies (9 of which were randomized controlled trials) in their analysis. Results of Use of Exercise in the Management of Postpartum Diastasis Recti: A Systematic Review favored abdominal and associated deep system motor control exercises in addition to using electrical muscle stimulation as an adjunct therapy.

Submit a Manuscript

Our editorial team invites you to submit manuscripts on all aspects of women’s health as it pertains to physical therapy. The team is also looking for case studies or series that provide information on changes in treating women with COVID who are pregnant or post-partum that loop in the best available science of what is happening. 

We are seeking manuscripts for the following:

Become a Manuscript Reviewer

The Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy is seeking to expand its team of manuscript reviewers. Applicants must be able to:

  • Receive and review 1‐3 manuscripts per year for blinded peer review
  • Demonstrate that they have a good knowledge base of several clinical content areas in Women’s Health Physical Therapy with at least 2 years in specialty practice
  • Understand basic statistics required to evaluate the strength of the research for at least two of the following types of research.
  • Evaluate quality of the research and provide constructive criticism and suggestions to authors
  • Commitment to developing reviewer skills