The following is a guest post from Nancy Fish, LCSW, MPH who will be presenting at the Alliance for Pelvic Pain Retreat on May 20-22 in Ellenville, NY. Check out this flier to learn more about the retreat.

Gaining a Sense of Hope and Empowerment

Nancy Fish, LCSW, MPH (co-author, with Deborah Coady,M.D. of Healing Painful Sex)
About the Alliance For Pelvic Pain Retreat, May 20-22, 2016, Ellenville, NY

When thinking about registering for the Alliance for Pelvic Pain Patient Retreat, I imagine you are asking yourself “Why would a person suffering from pelvic pain, with more medical appointments than is humanly possible to handle, add another item on an already overwhelming “to do” list?” It would be completely understandable if that is your initial reaction. So why is this retreat a must in your path to physical and emotional healing? There are so many reasons why this retreat can be a life-altering event but I’ll just name a few compelling ones. As a psychotherapist who specializes in pelvic pain (I am also a pelvic pain patient) the primary challenges I hear from most of my clients are:

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There's a lot going on in the world of pelvic rehab, and continuing education is no exception! This March, Herman & Wallace is hosting NINE courses around the country. It's a lot to keep up with, so we thought you might appreciate a brief overview of what's coming up next!

Where's this pain coming from?

Pelvic pain can have many sources, and Elizabeth Hampton wants to help you quickly get to the source. Finding the Driver in Pelvic Pain empowers you to play detective in order to help even the most complex patients. Don't miss out on Finding the Driver in Pelvic Pain in San Diego, CA on March 4-6, 2016

What goes in eventually comes out

How important is a good diet? For most of us eating healthy is important, and for many pelvic rehab patients it is a necessity. That's why Megan Pribyl wrote her "Nutrition Perspectives for the Pelvic Rehab Therapist" course. This beginner level course is intended to expand the your knowledge of the metabolic underpinnings for local to systemically complex disorders. Don't miss out on Nutrition Perspectives for the Pelvic Rehab Therapist - Kansas City, MO - March 5-6, 2016!

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Kelley Thibault PT, NCS is an outpatient rehabilitation pro, having more than two decades of experience in that setting. She is a recent convert to Pelvic Rehabilitation, however, and she's jumped in head first! Her practice has shifted in that direction and she has four Herman & Wallace courses under her belt in just the last two years. We reached out to see what lessons she could share with us, and she was kind enough to give us her time today. Welcome to the field, Kelley!

Tell us a bit about your clinical experience:
I have been a physical therapist for 22 years and spent much of my career working in a hospital based outpatient clinic treating primarily neurologic diagnoses. I have worked in a transdisciplinary neurologic program for much of this time. I received my NCS from the APTA in 2004 and recertified in 2014. Over my career I have had an interest in Women’s Health Physical Therapy and attended a course with Holly Herman in the early 1990’s. I began treating more Women’s Health clients about 2 years ago to cover a maternity leave. 75% of my practice now is Women's and Men’s Health. I attended the pelvic floor level 1, 2A, 2B and 3 courses over the past year and have found them to be invaluable!!! I also have taken many of the pelvic courses on MedBridge.

What/who inspired you to become involved in pelvic rehabilitation?
I find it most rewarding to work with women who are postmenopausal and are experiencing dyspareunia and stress and/ or urge incontinence. I find with some education and behavioral modifications these clients can experience gains after the first visit. I also have enjoyed working with the chronic pelvic pain clients who require internal pelvic floor and myofascial work and seeing them return to function with less pain and more confidence.

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This week we end with a fantastic interview with our featured pelvic rehab practitioner. Nancy Suarez, MS, PT, BCB-PMD, PRPC just joined the ranks of the elite Certified Pelvic Rehabilitation Practitioners! Check out our interview below:

Describe your clinical practice:
I work in a private practice specializing in women’s and men’s pelvic floor disorders including bowel and bladder issues, prolapse and sexual dysfunction, prenatal and postpartum rehabilitation, pre and postprostatectomy care, and lumbopelvic pain.

How did you get involved in the pelvic rehabilitation field?
As a physical therapist who regularly took continuing education courses following PT school, I happened to be looking for a course that might give me more knowledge to help some of my geriatric patients improve their urinary incontinence. I took my first Pelvic Floor course given by Hollis Herman and Kathe Wallace in 2000, and immediately began to make a difference in many of my patient’s lives.

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Happy Tuesday! Today we are fortunate enough to hear from Stefanie Foster, who just earned her designation as a Certified Pelvic Rehabilitation Practitioner! Thank you for your time, Stefanie, and congratulations!

Describe your clinical practice:
I have a private practice specializing in pelvic health and related orthopedic conditions. My clinical practice is infused with my training in yoga, pelvic rehab, women’s functional nutrition, orthopedic manual physical therapy, and movement system impairment syndromes.

How did you get involved in the pelvic rehabilitation field?
I first became curious about the pelvic floor muscles as a consequence of treating orthopedic conditions. No matter what you’re working with in that setting– back pain, hip pain, even shoulder or foot, central stability or the core is of utmost importance. I started to wonder what was going on with the respiratory diaphragm and pelvic floor when we were doing all this abdominal bracing that was (and still is in some circles) all the rage. I arranged a clinical in-service with Susan Steffes to come give us a little overview and talk about how to screen for when someone needed to see a pelvic PT. After that little hour, my interest was piqued and I knew I had to learn more…hence my first H&W class.

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Today we get to hear from Sherine Aubert, PT, DPT, PRPC who just earned her certification! Sherine was kind enough to share her story about discovering pelvic rehabilitation.

Tell us a bit about your clinical practice
Men and women across the life span with urogynecological, colorectal, orthopedic, as well as pre and post-surgical cases including sexual reassignment surgeries make up the majority of the population I treat. Most patients are working towards improving their bedroom and bathroom issues including prolapse, urinary frequency, urinary urgency, incontinence, pelvic pain, coccydynia, voiding dysfunctions, interstitial cystitis, vaginismus and dyspareunia. Educating and setting male patients up with pre surgical prostatectomy pelvic floor muscle strengthening programs and as well as improving outcomes of patients who have undergone sexual reassignment surgeries.

How did you get involved in the pelvic rehabilitation field?
I have always had such respect and fascination with the pelvic floor muscles. They are underestimated and overlooked in many physical therapy settings and I feel passionate about changing this! I have made it my goal to educate and empower individuals while making a comfortable environment to ask questions to further understand their anatomy, function and optimize their health.

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This week we are proud to feature Christy Ciesla, PT, DPT, PRPC! She just earned her Pelvic Rehabilitation Practitioner Certification, and was kind enough to share some of her thoughts with the Pelvic Rehab Report. You can read the interview below. Congratulations to Christy and all the other PRPC practitioners!


Tell us about your clinical practice:
I am currently coordinating a Women and Men’s Health program at the Miriam Hospital (The Men’s Health Center and The Women’s Medicine Collaborative) in Rhode Island. We are fortunate to be a team of 5 skilled pelvic therapists and to work with the some of the best physicians and surgeons in New England. We work with so many different patients. I am currently most excited about our involvement in a tremendous Cancer Survivorship Program offered here at the Women’s Medicine Collaborative.

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Today, September 28th, marks the ten year anniversary of the founding of Herman & Wallace! The Institute was founded on this day in 2005 by Holly Herman, PT, DPT, MS, OCS, WCS, BCB-PMD, PRPC and Kathe Wallace, PT, BCB-PMD with a mission of providing the very best evidence-based continuing education related to pelvic floor and pelvic girdle dysfunction in men and women throughout the life cycle.

Since our founding, it’s been our privilege to spread this mission through an ever-increasing number of course offerings, products, resources and certification so that therapists can meet their goals and patients can access trained practitioners who can address their needs.

To celebrate with us, use the discount code HappyBirthday for $10 off your next downloadable Herman & Wallace product!

In the past ten years, we’ve significantly expanded our course offerings. Currently-offered courses cover pediatrics and geriatrics, sexual health, yoga and Pilates, oncology, meditation and mindfulness, and a number of other topics instructed by some of the foremost experts in the field, with whom we are thrilled to work and provide a platform to spread their knowledge. In addition to our flagship Pelvic Floor series courses which were the first offered by the Institute, H&W now offers 46 live courses and 14 online courses on topics related to pelvic floor dysfunction, as well as related women’s health, men’s health and orthopedic topics.

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Download the ICD-10 Pelvic Rehab Cheat Sheet Here!

With ICD-10 changes right around the corner, we thought it would be helpful to put together a bit of a cheat sheet for our pelvic health providers. Keep in mind that this is only a guide, and that you and your facility should rely upon your own knowledge and skills. We hope this list makes getting to coding proficiency a little easier!

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service have a website called “Road to 10” that is very helpful for learning about all the changes that are coming up very soon, starting with “ICD-10 Basics” (they even have a countdown clock, with seconds included- no pressure!) The site has some documents for physicians, which therapists might find somewhat useful, including ones called “Common Codes for OB/GYN" or "Common Codes for Orthopedics". The Herman & Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute has created for you the Common Codes for the Pelvic Rehab Provider, For those of us in pelvic rehabilitation, the more tools that we have to make the transition easier, the better.

There are 3 main things that are going to help with this transition: 1) knowing how ICD-10 is different than ICD-9, so that you are aware of the additional choices you may need to make, 2) having a comprehensive list of all the codes to choose from, and 3) having a shorter list of codes so you don’t have to move through the entire list!

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We're excited to have the chance to interview Lisa Odabachian, MPT, BSN, RN, PRPC, this week's featured Certified Pelvic Rehabilitation Practitioner! Lisa earned her certification in May of 2015 and she was kind enough to share her thoughts with us. Thank you for your contributions to the field of pelvic rehab, Lisa, and congratulations on your certification!

What motivated you to earn PRPC?
For patients and referring providers to have confidence that I have expertise in treating pelvic floor dysfunctions.

What makes you the most proud to have earned PRPC?
That I have evolved into a practitioner that can make a difference in this patient population’s quality of life.

What advice would you give to physical therapists interested in earning PRPC?
Take as many courses with hands on lab work that you can so you can treat with a broad base of knowledge to get the best outcome for your patients!

Tell us a little about your clinical practice:
I am a full-time clinician at a well-known and well-respected hospital-based outpatient women's clinic. I have been at the Beaumont's Women's Urology Center, a multidisciplinary clinic focusing exclusively on women's health, for the past 5 years. incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, urinary urgency and frequency, chronic pelvic pain conditions (painful intercourse, interstitial cystitis, vulvodynia, abdominal pain), post-surgical pain and weakness, colo-rectal dysfunctions (fecal incontinence, constipation, rectal pain). I have been in clinical practice treating women and men with pelvic dysfunctions for over 14 years at Beaumont Hospital. Prior to that I was a clinical nurse treating patients in a variety of settings. I am currently an ABPTS candidate to sit for the 2016 WCS specialist certification examination in Women's Health physical therapy.

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All Upcoming Continuing Education Courses