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Many people experience pelvic pain and dysfunction that affects their quality of life. Pelvic pain is strongly driven by central pain mechanisms and a new framework to understand centrally-driven pain is covered in the first two days of this course. This framework will give you a deep understanding of the brain and the nervous system, and how to target both of them appropriately using evidence-based practice. In the final two days, you will learn the evaluation and treatments for the following pelvic pain conditions: dyspareunia, vulvodynia, vaginismus, vestibulodynia, painful bladder syndrome, chronic non-bacterial prostatitis and chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Physiotherapists will learn how the recognize the pathophysiology, signs and symptoms that lead to these impairments, the functional limitations and disabilities they cause, outcome measures that can be used in the clinic and treatment interventions. This course is designed to teach physiotherapists how to evaluate the female and male pelvic floor by learning specific examination and treatments for these conditions. This is a lecture-format and lab-based course.
Supporting documents, including assessment forms, patient handouts and audio files are included in the course cost (see resources tab).
Through completion of this course, participants will:
- Learn the nuts and bolts of pain science
- Be able to distinguish between nociceptive pain, neuropathic pain and central pain
- Learn when to address the sensitized nervous system, and when to address the nociceptive drivers of a pain condition
- Describe the anatomy of the female and male urologic and reproductive systems
- Identify specific pelvic floor muscle locations with external and internal vaginal and rectal examination
- Understand the definitions of vulvodynia, vaginismus, vestibulodynia, painful bladder syndrome (interstitial cystitis), chronic non-bacterial prostatitis and chronic pelvic pain syndrome
- Understand the common impairments, functional limitations and disabilities associated in female and male pelvic pain
- Understand the current NIH Criteria for Prostatitis
- Perform internal vaginal and rectal myofascial and soft tissue treatment techniques to the pelvic floor muscles
- Perform external soft tissue techniques specific to Pelvic Pain conditions
- Describe specific client related education and behavioural instruction affecting Female and Male Pelvic Pain conditions
- Understand and develop an appropriate exercise program for Female and Male Pelvic Pain
- Recognize the importance of a multidisciplinary approach
This course is open to physiotherapists, physiotherapy students, naturopathic doctors, registered nurses, midwives and medical doctors. Labs include internal palpation.
To be determined
Registration begins on the first day 15 minutes prior to the start time.
Level I course (or equivalent)
This course is both lecture format and practical labs with vaginal and rectal palpation
The resources listed below are included in the cost of the course, and will be provided to each participant in electronic, PDF format upon successful completion of the course.
- Persistent pain questionnaire
- Pelvic Girdle Assessment Questions
Education and Tracking
- Activity Monitor
- Body Changes Secondary to Persistent Pain
- Natural remedies for pelvic pain
- Pain education in a nutshell
- Power to change the nervous system
- Urinary tract infection prevention
- Breathing in a non-exercise program
- Breathing techniques
- Calves on a stool with repetitive extension in lying
- Calves on a stool
- Circulation and the Pelvic Floor Muscles
- Dynamic Pelvic Floor and Core Exercises
- Dynamic stretching
- Fab Five Pelvic Exercises
- Foam Roller
- Functional Activities for the Sacro-Iliac joint
- General exercise and pelvic flexibility and strength
- Levator Ani
- Office stretches
- Pelvic floor lengthening
- Pilates core program
- Reverse Kegel down-training series
- Choices to calm a sensitized nervous system
- Connective tissue massage for symphysis pubis and bladder
- External massage techniques
- Internal pelvic muscle work
- Internal trigger point release-self treatment
- Scar tissue massage
- Self connective tissue massage
- Anterior trigger points
- Side trigger points
- Posterior trigger points
- Vulvar care
Outcome and Communication
- Chronic prostatitis Index
- Diazepam research
- Fibromyalgia Impact questionnaire
- Vulvar pain functional questionnaire
- Diazepam fax cover sheet
- Sympathetic nervous system quieting
- Pelvic imagery for healing
- General imagery for healing
The level II course was a monumental supplement to my practice, and gave me more confidence in my ability to treat a dysfunctional pelvic floor altogether. The way this course built on the Level I course was a great natural progression. I also purchased the level II resource manual which I pull from daily, and the additional ‘tools’ are easy are for clients to understand and feel good about.
– Lindsay T
Pelvic pain is often an area of concern and questioning that has been overlooked in PT training. The level II Female and Male Pelvic Pain course has given me the tools to not only screen patients for need of pelvic assessment but also understand the various mechanisms involved in pelvic pain to properly assess and treat.
– Kelly S
Since applying techniques from the Level II course, 100% of my pelvic pain clients have improved. I am now treating these clients with confidence and grace. The holistic approach, wonderful analogies to use with clients, and dozens of hands on skills have dramatically altered my practice. I’m sure my clients would thank you if they could!
– Marika W
Not only should this course be mandatory for every physiotherapist to take, it should definitely be taught in our university programs. The majority of patients who we see have had pain for longer than three months. Chronic pain often exists with other co morbidities making these patients more complex. This course provides you with the knowledge and useful tools to help treat these patients more effectively and with increased satisfaction and innovation.
– Jill M
This course has changed the way I practice-not just pelvic health, but in orthopedics overall. They present the latest research findings in pain science with treatment techniques that you will use right away for all of your clients. And to top it off, they provide electronic files to share with your clients immediately. It’s so much more than tissue issues!!!
– Sheela Z
This course was a complete practice changer. In university we spent very little time learning about pain and what I did learn was not the current scientific knowledge. Our profession is centered around treating pain, which makes understanding the intricate nature of pain really important. This course taught me the current pain neuroscience and about the biopsychsocial model. Knowing this information helps me better identify who might be at risk of developing chronic pain and therefore educate them early about pain. I also feel more confident in treating patients with chronic pain, instead of feeling overwhelmed on how to approach treatment I now have skills to better understand and treat that patient’s pain and what might be contributing to it. I highly recommend any physiotherapist to take this course.
– Madelaine G