The Pelvic Health Physical Therapy Level 1 BRIDGE course is a 1-day in-person course focusing on the basic skills necessary to treat patients with pelvic health dysfunction with primary emphasis on under active pelvic floor muscle conditions. The focus of the labs will be on external and internal vaginal examination. Lectures will cover anatomy of the pelvic girdle, physiology of micturition, dysfunctions of the lower urinary tract and pelvic muscles as well as patient history examination, and testing and treatment interventions for the patient with under active pelvic floor muscle conditions. The Section on Women’s Health would like to offer the opportunity for practitioners who have taken a similar/equivalent Pelvic Health Physical Therapy Level 1 course from another institution to enter the SoWH’s Certificate of Achievement in Pelvic Health Physical Therapy (CAPP-Pelvic) program.
Open to: Licensed Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, 2nd Year and 3rd Year Student Physical Therapists*. We recommend students have some orthopedic/musculoskeletal coursework in their curriculum prior to attending the course. You MUST have a prior pelvic course that included internal vaginal assessment.
Requirement: You must have completed a similar or equivalent course to the Section on Women’s Health Pelvic Health Physical Therapy Level 1 (3-day) course through another education institution (i.e. Herman & Wallace, Pelvic Health Solutions, etc). You will be requested to provide a transcript or certificate of attendance to the SoWH HQ Office ([email protected]) from the equivalent/similar course to show proof of attendance.
Day 1: 7:30 am–5:00 pm *Registration begins at 7:00am
- MORNING BREAK TIME: 10:00am-10:15am
- LUNCH BREAK TIME: 12:30pm-1:30pm
Total Contact Hours: 8.25 hours
Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to perform the following:
- Identify and examine the anatomy of the pelvic girdle
- Describe the function of the lower urinary tract and female pelvic organs.
- Demonstrate proper infection control techniques involved in pelvic floor muscle examination.
- Perform an external evaluation of the female genitalia verbally identifying bones, ligaments,muscles and other structures.
- Perform an internal pelvic examination identifying muscles, ligaments, bony prominences with identification of pelvic floor muscle origins and insertions.
- Demonstrate proper technique in testing muscle strength of the levator ani muscles.
- Demonstrate proper technique in testing for pelvic organ prolapse.
- Demonstrate proper use of handheld EMG biofeedback to assess pelvic floor musculature.
- Differentiate between under active pelvic floor muscles and overactive pelvic floor muscles.
- Demonstrate an understanding of bladder tests and measurements (bladder diary, urodynamic testing, pad testing, etc.) that are used in the process of differential diagnosis.
- Demonstrate the ability to compose a plan of care including functional goals, prognosis and length of care for the patient with under active pelvic floor conditions.
- Explain red flags related to treatment of the pelvic floor and understand when to refer to another healthcare provider.
- Explain the effects of pelvic floor under activity and proper technique of pelvic muscle exercises for rehabilitative purposes.
- Explain the relationship between the abdominal muscles and the pelvic floor muscles as they relate to activities of daily living.
- Describe the various interventions available to strengthen the muscles of the patient with an under active pelvic floor and clinically reason when and why the various interventions might be used.
- Demonstrate proper use of a handheld pelvic floor muscle electrical stimulation unit and explain its appropriate uses for a patient with pelvic floor muscle dysfunction.
- Describe techniques that can be used to train (retrain) the bladder and when each intervention might be used.
Attendance: Participants are expected to stay through the entire course; please make your travel plans accordingly. Deduction of contact hours hours and ineligibility to participate in the CAPP process (for those attending CAPP courses) will occur for participants who leave the course early.
Lab Participation & Consent: Participants will be working in groups of 2 during labs. This course includes extensive labs with intra-vaginal & intra-rectal assessment & examination. The Internal Consent & Release Form.pdf must be filled out and turned in to the instructor on Day 1 of the course (this form is provided on-site). If the course participant does not turn in the completed form on Day 1, he/she will not be permitted to take the course. All participants must participate in labs as both “therapist” & “patient.” Participants who cannot participate as lab subjects are required to provide their own lab partners. Failure to participate as a lab subject, or to provide required lab partner if needed, will result in forfeiture of course completion and registration costs. If you are not sure whether you need a medical model or if you are unfamiliar with the process of obtaining a medical model, please read: Medical Models for Internal Pelvic Assessment.pdf. Participants that MUST provide their own lab partners include (but are not limited to):
- ALL Male participants
- Pregnant women (except with written physician permission for FULL participation)
- Active vaginal infections
- Active STD or herpes lesions
- Active bladder or rectal infections
- Severe pelvic/vaginal/rectal pain that inhibits examination
- Lack of prior vaginal exam by a physician
- Active OB/GYN cancer
Pre-Reading Assignments: Pre-readings are articles and cases that must be read and reviewed prior to Day 1 of the course. Pre-readings will be provided electronically to course participants prior to the course via the Learning Center. Please make sure that you are able to successfully access the Learning Center after you purchase your course registration. If you have already purchased this course, click here to access the SoWH Learning Center. (The Learning Center is not compatible with tablets, please use a Laptop or PC)
English Language Proficiency: If you are a foreign-educated physical therapist/assistant, you will need to pass the TOEFL(Test of English as a Foreign Language) and meet the score requirements. There are some exemptions to the TOEFL requirement for individuals who are exempt under the USCIS regulations. TOEFL scores must be reported directly to SoWH for the purposes of determining eligibility for course attendance. The minimum TOEFL scores we require are the following: Reading: 21; Listening: 18; Writing: 24; Speaking: 26.