Congratulations to Danielle Knippenberg, PT, MPT, GCS, PRPC on Earning Certification!

Danielle is among the latest class of Certified Pelvic Rehabilitation Practitioners! Her experience treating patients and owning Core 3 Physical Therapy prepared her to pass the exam in flying colors. Read her bio here and check out our interview below. Congratulations, Danielle!

What/who inspired you to become involved in pelvic rehabilitation?
A patient was the first one to inspire me to improve my knowledge and treatment abilities in pelvic rehabilitation. I was working with a postpartum patient, while carrying my first child, and she felt that my guidance had been so helpful in her care that it made me interested learning more about the pelvic floor. Most of my fellow colleagues could discuss my orthopedic questions but I didn’t have any mentors that could offer advice in more advanced pelvic floor cases so I started attending the Herman and Wallace classes. They have been an invaluable at improving my ability to care for patients with pelvic pain which has even improved my treatment of orthopedic patients with low back pain and sacroiliac dysfunction.

What patient population do you find most rewarding in treating and why?
I enjoy working with chronic pelvic pain patients because it's rewarding to be able to bring relief to someone who has been living with pain, limited quality of life or even social anxiety and has not received any benefit with other treatment options. Being able to help this patient population understand the pelvic floor muscles and function as well as providing justification to why they are in pain and then help them progress through various treatment approaches makes my job rewarding.

If you could get a message out to physical therapists about pelvic rehabilitation what would it be?
PT's are uniquely trained to provided internal pelvic floor muscle release. This is something that no other health care professional is licensed or has the schedule/time to perform. This technique can provide relief and feedback to your patients that is possible in no other way. If you do not want to address this region or feel comfortable providing this treatment, find a therapist local to you who has experience with pelvic floor and refer when appropriate. Additionally, we as physical therapists are often the first line of defense in recognizing and educating patients about the ability to address a wide variety of symptoms that they believe is "just a normal part of life". Asking the in-depth questions and providing a multimodal approach to their symptoms is not only a boon to the patient but to our profession.

What lesson have you learned from a Herman & Wallace instructor that has stayed with you?
"Your most valuable tool is your finger." It is rare to treat an orthopedic patient without incorporating any hands on approach and the same holds true for the pelvic floor. With an internal exam you can make your most accurate assessment while providing valuable feedback to the patient.

What makes you the most proud to have earned PRPC?
I think it has helped me gain respect with my fellow health care professionals for my expertise in the area of pelvic floor treatment. It has broadened my knowledge base and provided me a strong guide for furthering my ability to treat patients with pelvic pain and dysfunction.

What is in store for you in the future?
I would like to become involved in research to further evidence based evaluation and treatment of pelvic conditions. I hope to facilitate the effectiveness and value in pelvic floor rehabilitation via physical therapy.

What role do you see pelvic health playing in general well-being?
It should become a staple for all pelvic floor surgeries just like a physical therapy is the staple post total knee surgery. Currently in my region I find it very underutilized despite the research behind our treatment. This is largely due to the general population not being aware of the treatment benefits physical therapy can play in pelvic dysfunction. European countries make it a standard of care in this area and I hope we progress to adopt a similar view of treatment.

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