Dedicated to Improving Pelvic and Abdominal Health Globally

Section on Women’s Health 40th Anniversary



Elizabeth Noble
founded the Section on Women’s Health of the American Physical Therapy Association in 1977 under the original name of the Section on Obstetrics and Gynecology. The professional association served as a resource for continuing education and knowledge needed by physical therapists interested in healthcare of women before, during, and after pregnancy.

Elizabeth NobleToday, however, the scope of practice for our nearly 3,000 Section members has widened to include myriad health abdominal and pelvic concerns of women, men, and children: incontinence, pelvic/vaginal pain, prenatal and postpartum musculoskeletal pain, osteoporosis, rehabilitation following breast surgery, lower back pain, lymphedema, conditions specific to the female athlete, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, wellness, and exercise.

Members voted to change the Section name in 1995 to Section on Women’s Health to mark the specialized education required to address women’s physical therapy needs. In 2011, the organization updated its mission and vision statements to recognize Section members who also treat males affected by incontinence, pelvic pain, fibromyalgia, and osteoporosis.

Logo Change
The Section on Women’s Health continues to focus on its role as a vital resource for physical therapists interested in continuing education, research, and lab training from leading physical therapists. Members also receive the Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy, networking opportunities, a voice in advocating for physical therapy patients and the profession, specialized sessions at APTA conferences, and more.

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Introducing the New Mission, Vision, and Value Proposition


Our mission is to advance global excellence in abdominal and pelvic health through evidence-based practice, innovative education, research, and social responsibility.


As a global authority in abdominal and pelvic health, we transform society by empowering professionals and people everywhere.


Join our member-led, collaborative, nonprofit community! We are committed to education, research, and promotion of personalized care in abdominal and pelvic physical therapy.

Thank you to everyone who joined our 40th Anniversary Gala in San Antonio, Texas! 

Special guest speaker Emma Stokes (center) set an uplifting tone with her impressive presentation that got everyone up to clap and dance, including APTA leaders and SOWH President Patricia Wolfe (far right) at SOWH's 40th Anniversary Gala February 16 at APTA's 2017 CSM.

Special guest speaker Emma Stokes (center) set an uplifting tone with her impressive presentation that got everyone up to clap and dance, including APTA leaders and SOWH President Patricia Wolfe (far right), at SOWH’s 40th Anniversary Gala February 16 at the 2017 Combined Sections Meeting.

Thank you to all 300 members and guests who took time from your busy schedules at the APTA Combined Sections Meetings to share food, a toast, music and memories of the past four decades. Special thanks go to our amazing guest speakers, Jane Frahm–an original SOWH member, leader, and friend of founder Elizabeth Noble–and President Emma Stokes of the World Confederation for Physical Therapy, who traveled from Ireland to join us and reflect on the evolution of both the Section and the profession.

Thank You to Our Sponsors!



Booth #: 519


sibone logo

Booth #: 1830


Current Technology, Inc.

Booth #: 519


The Barral Institute

Booth #: 803

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