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In our weekly feature section, Pelvic Rehab Report is proud to present this interview with Herman & Wallace instructor Ginger Garner, PT, MPT, ATC.

 

How did you get started in pelvic rehab?

My entry point into pelvic rehab was a bit unorthodox and as a result, my colleagues at the time (back in the 90’s), considered my practice quite eccentric and frankly, a bit strange.
In fact, although I can see lots of humor in it now, I was actually pushed out of a practice because what I was doing was “too individualized” and patient specific. Of course, that “eccentric” entry point into pelvic rehab was integrative medicine, using a yoga-based biopsychosocial model of practice.

 

Who or what inspired you?

To answer that question I think you first have to be able to recognize and appreciate times when you have not been well supported or inspired, kind of like having to know adversity before you can recognize and value success.

Here’s my short story:
Early on in my education (in sports medicine, athletic training, physical therapy, yoga, and pilates) I realized that the biomedical model, although stellar at handling life-threatening emergencies, was not always so great at addressing chronic conditions and preventing disease processes and injury. So the answer to what inspires me – is the privilege of being able to be on the prevention end of injury and disease.
Back in the 90’s, I had a faculty instructor who encouraged me to keep pursuing my passion – in spite of the pushback I got from many directions, including within the department at the university. She found a way for me to pursue lateral work in the School of Public Health, which I felt was necessary in order for me to become a successful patient advocate. It was a great experience where I was able to work with the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Health and conduct a pilot study. Her encouragement inspired me to keep following my dream, which is why I strongly believe in this quote by Mark Twain,

Herman & Wallace is announcing a new course on laser therapy for pelvic pain! The Pelvic Rehab Report caught up with the instructor, Isa Herrera.

 

Low-Level Laser Therapy for Female Pelvic Pain Conditions will be taking place in New York City, NY on October 3-4, 2015

 

 

Laser Therapy For Female Pelvic Pain was developed by Isa Herrera MSPT, CSCS for Herman and Wallace specifically for women’s health clinicians. Ms. Herrera is the author of 4 books, including the breakthrough book, Ending Female Pain, A Woman’s Manual, now in its 2nd Edition. Ms. Herrera has appeared on several national TV and radios shows including on MTV True Life, The Regis and Kelly Show and NBC’s Today Show. She lectures nationally on the topic of women’s health and has been a passionate advocate about pelvic health for over 10 years.

 

With words like jumping, diving, spiking, hitting, and blocking making up the game's activities, volleyball is clearly a sport that requires a healthy pelvic floor. We know that athletes are at risk for pelvic dysfunction, with symptoms ranging from tension to leakage, but what happens when the pelvic floor is reeducated? In a study addressing volleyball players, researchers assess the effectiveness of a pelvic muscle rehabilitation program on symptoms of urinary incontinence. 32 female athletes were divided evenly between a control group and an experimental group. Inclusions criteria for the sample was nulliparity, symptoms of stress urinary incontinence, age between 13 and 30, and leakage amount more than 1 gram on the pad weight test. Exclusion criteria is as follows: treatment time of less than six months, sport practice for less than two years, urinary tract infections (either current or repeated prior infections), intervention adherence less than 50%, or body mass index outside of the range of 18-25.

 

Before and after intervention, the athletes were given a baseline questionnaire, a pad test (in the first 15 minutes of volleyball practice), and they completed seven days of a bladder diary to track leakage. The treatment group were instructed in anatomy and physiology of the lower urinary tract, about urinary incontinence (UI) and UI in athletes, and in leakage prevention strategies. A 3-day bladder diary was completed to improve awareness of fluid intake and bladder habits. Pelvic muscle awareness and correct contractions, doing protective pre-contractions of the pelvic floor, and a home exercise program of quick and endurance pelvic muscle contractions in different positions were also instructed.

 

The results of the intervention include a significant decrease in urinary leakage in the treatment group. The education provided also allowed for prevention of negative coping strategies that were reported in the subjects: the athletes would conceal leakage by wearing a menstrual pad, decreased their fluid intake, or empty their bladder more frequently. This study contributes to the growing body of evidence linking sport to pelvic dysfunction, and more importantly, rehabilitation efforts to improvement. If you want to learn more about pelvic dysfunction in athletes, come to The Athlete and the Pelvic Floor with Michelle Lyons. This 2-day continuing education course took place recently in New York City and your next opportunity to take the class is in Denver in October!

Blog by Holly Tanner

In the treatment of pelvic dysfunction, collaboration among physicians and pelvic rehabilitation providers creates an optimal care situation for the patient. In a research article that will be published in the July issue of Journal of Lower Genital Tract Disease, physical therapist and Herman & Wallace Institute faculty member Stacey Futterman demonstrates how a partnership between disciplines provides information valuable to the field of pelvic rehabilitation. Stacey and physicians Deborah Coady, Dena Harris, and Straun Coleman hypothesized that persistent vulvar pain may be generated by femoroactebular impingement (FIA) and the resultant effects on pelvic floor muscles. Through the research, the authors attempted to determine if hip arthroscopy was a beneficial intervention for vulvar pain, and if so, which patient characteristics influenced improvements.

 

Twenty six patients diagnosed with generalized, unprovoked vulvodynia or clitorodynia underwent arthroscopy for femoroacetabular impingement. For 3-6 months following hip repair, patients were treated with physical therapy that included surgical postoperative rehabilitation combined with rehabilitation for vulvodynia. Time period for follow-up data collection ranged from 36-58 months. Six patients reported improvements in vulvar pain following surgery and did not require further treatment, and it is noted that these patients were all in the youngest age bracket (22-29). Among the patients who did not report sustained relief, relatively older ages (33-74) were noted, along with a tendency to have vulvar pain for 5 years or longer.

 

The relationship between hip and pelvic pain may come from the bony structures, hip muscles including but not limited to the obturator internus, and nerves such as the pudendal. The authors conclude that "All women with vulvodynia need to be routinely assessed for pelvic floor and hip disorders…" and if needed, treatment should be implemented to address the appropriate tissue dysfunctions. If you are interested in learning more about hip dysfunction so you can better screen for dysfunction such as femoroacetabular impingement, check out faculty member Steve Dischiavi's continuing education course. Biomechanical Assessment of the Hip & Pelvis: Manual Movement Therapy and the Myofascial Sling System takes place next in Durham, North Carolina in May.

Patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer may undergo a procedure called mesorectal excision as part of their oncology management. In this procedure, a significant portion of the bowel is removed along with the tumor. Total mesorectal excision refers to the entire rectum and mesorectum (peritoneum that connects the upper rectum.) The rectum is removed up to the level of the levator muscles, and this procedure is indicated for tumors of the middle and lower rectum. In a study published in the World Journal of Oncology, the authors report on female urogenital dysfunction following total mesorectal excision (TME).

 

Questionnaires were returned by 18 women (age range 34-86) who had undergone TME for rectal cancer. Results of the study are summarized in the chart below. (All patients had reported vaginal childbirth, and five had undergone total abdominal hysterectomy and oophrectomy.)

 

Presurgical
Postsurgical

Sexual function

5/18 (28%) were sexually active (with no complaints of dyspareunia) Sexually active patients remained active but all reported discomfort with penetration
2 patients reported decreased libido due to stoma

Urinary function

Posted by on

This post was written by Jennafer Vande Vegte, MSPT, BCB-PMD, PRPC. You can catch Jennafer teaching the Pelvic Floor Level 2B course this weekend in Columbus.

 

mesh complications

"I hate my vagina and my vagina hates me. We have a hate- hate relationship'" said my patient Sandy (name has been changed) to me after treatment. Sandy's harsh words settled between us. I understood perfectly why she might feel this way. I have been treating Sandy on and off for four years. She has had over fifteen pelvic surgeries. Her journey started with a hysterectomy and mesh implantation to treat her prolapsed bladder. She did well for several months and then her pain began. Her physician refused to believe that her pain was coming from the mesh. This pattern was repeated for several years as Sandy tried in vain to explain her pain to her medical providers. She was told her pain was all in her head and put on psych meds. Finally, five years later, Sandy found her way to an experienced urogynecologist who recognized that Sandy was having a reaction to the mesh from her prolapse surgery. It turns out that Sandy's body rejected the mesh like an allergen. Her tissues had built up fibrotic nodules to protect itself from exposure to the mesh. It has taken years and multiple operations to remove all the mesh and all the nodules. Of course then Sandy's prolapse recurred as well as her stress incontinence and she recently had surgery to try to give her some support. In PT we attempted to manage her pain, normalize her pelvic floor function, strengthen her supportive muscles and fascia. Due to years of chronic pain, her pelvic floor would spasm so completely internal work was not possible. Sandy began to also get Botox injections to her pelvic floor and pudendal nerve blocks. She uses Flexeril, Lidocaine and Valium vaginally three times a day to manage her chronic pelvic pain. She is on disability because she cannot work. Later this month Sandy will have her 16th surgery to remove a hematoma caused by her previous surgery and another nodule that we found in her left vulva. Sandy is the most complicated case of mesh complication that I have seen in my practice, however I regularly see women who have had problems with mesh that we manage through PT and also women that have had mesh removal. No one expects to have complications with their surgery and when they do it can be life altering.

 

In a recent review of the literature surrounding mesh complications Barski and Deng cite that over 300,000 women in the US will undergo surgical correction for stress incontinence (SUI) or pelvic organ prolapse (POP). Mesh related complications have been reported at rates of 15-25%. Mesh removal occurs at a rate of 1-2%. Mesh erosion will occur in 10% of women. There are over 30,000 cases in US courts today related to pain and disability due to mesh complications. The authors looked at mesh complication statistics from studies concerning three surgical procedures: mid urethral slings, transvaginal mesh and abdominal colposacropexy .

In our weekly feature section, Pelvic Rehab Report is proud to present this interview with Herman & Wallace instructor Allison Ariail, PT, DPT, CLT-LANA, PRPC, BCB-PMD

 

Allison Ariail

How did you get started in pelvic rehab?

I got started in pelvic rehab by treating and specializing in SIJ and low back dysfunction. I used ultrasound imaging to retrain the local core muscles including the transverse abdominis, lumbar multifidus, and the pelvic floor muscles. In treating these patients, not only did they improve with respects to their back pain, but their incontinence improved as well! I then started getting referrals from doctors for incontinence patients. So I took PF1 and as they say, the rest is history! I know that pelvic rehab is my calling. I am impassioned about this subject and love treating these patients. I also thoroughly enjoy teaching about the pelvic floor and the pelvic ring. I truly feel I am one of the lucky ones to actually love what I do!

 

This post was written by Eric Dinkins, PT, MSPT, OCS, MCTA, CMP, Cert. MT, who will be instructing the brand new course, Manual Therapy for the Lumbo-Pelvic-Hip Complex: Mobilization with Movement including Laser-Guided Feedback for Core Stabilization. Pelvic Rehab Report sat down with Eric to learn a little bit more about his course and his clinical approach

 

Eric Dinkins

Can you describe the clinical/treatment approach/techniques covered in this continuing education course?

During this two day lab based course, clinicians will learn anatomy, assessment techniques, and manual therapy techniques that are designed to minimize pain and restore function immediately. As a bonus, clinicians will be introduced to stabilization exercises utilizing the Motion Guidance visual feedback system for these areas. This system allows for immediate feedback for both the clinician and the patient on determining preferred or substituted movement patterns, and enhancing motor learning to quickly address these patterns if desired.

 

Tagged in: Institute News

Blog by Holly Tanner

Among the challenges in research for chronic pelvic pain is the lack of consensus about diagnosis and intervention. Prominent researchers and physicians J. Curtis Nickel and Daniel Shoskes describe a methodology for classification of male chronic pelvic pain using phenotyping, which can be simply described as “a set of observable characteristics.” The authors point out in this article that men with complaints of pelvic pain have historically been treated with antibiotics, even though now it is known that most cases of “prostatitis” are not true infections. With most patients having chronic pelvic pain presenting with varied causes, symptoms, and responses to treatment, Nickel and Shoskes acknowledge that traditional medical approaches have not been successful.

 

In an attempt to improve classification of patients and subsequent treatment approaches, the UPOINT system was developed. The domains of the system include urinary, psychosocial, organ specific, infection, neurological/systemic conditions, and tenderness of skeletal muscles, and are listed below. Within each domain, the clinical description has been adapted from the original study (which can be accessed full text at the link above.)

 

UPOINT Domains

Tagged in: Male Pelvic Floor

Prolapse Bladder

You know how some women report that they have a mild prolapse that feels better if they wear a tampon during strenuous activity, or that a tampon worn (temporarily) helps avoid urinary leakage? Using a tampon instead of a pessary seems like a great fix, with one problem: tampons are not designed to be used as a pessary. They are designed to be absorptive and to expand to fill the vaginal canal as they expand. Some women can even suffer from toxic shock syndrome - a condition related to bacterial infection and associated with super-absorbent tampon use, contraceptives, and diaphragm use. What if an item could be used that is similar to a tampon, but not absorptive, and that provided more support than a cylindrical-shaped tampon? That must have been what Kimberly Clark, the manufacturer of a new product, created to fit this need.

 

The Impressa is marketed as a device for urinary incontinence that a patient can buy over-the-counter. The product comes in an applicator and can be inserted similarly to the way a tampon is, but the Impressa is not made to absorb leaks. Once inserted, the product has an interesting shape that is designed to help support the urethra. The device comes in 3 sizes labeled 1, 2, and 3, and the product has a "sizing kit" with 2 of each size in a box that can be trialed for finding the best fit. It will be interesting to see how valuable this product is and we will only know as we begin to hear feedback from their use. Pessary fit is a tough process in that providers and patients often have to go through a period of trial and error for best fit, and also because providers are poorly reimbursed for management of pessary fit and use. (Click here to read more on the blog about prolapse and pessaries.)

 

It appears that the product is not yet widely available, but it will be interesting to hear women's' experiences about the product. Having an option for an affordable, disposable pessary-like device that is available over-the-counter could be a very helpful option to know about. Health professionals can go to the website impressapro.com to send an email requesting a sample or more information. And thank you to certified Pelvic Rehabilitation Practitioner Joyce Steele for sharing information about the Impressa as this may be something your patients start asking more about. To learn more about prolapse management and female pelvic floor dysfunction, come to one of our intermediate-level continuing education courses, PF2B. The next opportunities to take this class (that aren't sold out!) are in Connecticut, North Carolina, and Missouri this year.

Upcoming Continuing Education Courses

Aug 8, 2015 - Aug 9, 2015
Location: N2PT

Aug 14, 2015 - Aug 15, 2015
Location: Burke Rehabilitation

Aug 16, 2015 - Aug 18, 2015
Location: The George Washington University

Aug 28, 2015 - Aug 30, 2015
Location: Washington University School of Medicine

Sep 11, 2015 - Sep 13, 2015
Location: Women's Hospital of Texas

Sep 11, 2015 - Sep 13, 2015
Location: University of Utah Orthopedic Center

Sep 12, 2015 - Sep 13, 2015
Location: Marathon Physical Therapy

Sep 12, 2015 - Sep 13, 2015
Location: East Jefferson General Hospital

Sep 19, 2015 - Sep 20, 2015
Location: Kima - Center for Physiotherapy & Wellness

Sep 19, 2015 - Sep 20, 2015
Location: Stay Fit Physical Therapy & Core Wellness, Inc.

Sep 25, 2015 - Sep 27, 2015
Location: Ohio Health

Sep 26, 2015 - Sep 27, 2015
Location: Evolution Physical Therapy

Oct 2, 2015 - Oct 4, 2015
Location: Duke University Medical Center

Oct 3, 2015 - Oct 4, 2015
Location: Cherry Creek Wellness Center

Oct 3, 2015 - Oct 4, 2015
Location: ReNew Physical Therapy

Oct 9, 2015 - Oct 11, 2015
Location: Anne Arundel Medical Center

Oct 16, 2015 - Oct 18, 2015
Location: Middlesex Hospital

Oct 16, 2015 - Oct 18, 2015
Location: Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine

Oct 17, 2015 - Oct 18, 2015
Location: Queen of the Valley Medical Center

Oct 23, 2015 - Oct 25, 2015
Location: Washington University School of Medicine

Oct 24, 2015 - Oct 25, 2015
Location: Marathon Physical Therapy

Oct 25, 2015 - Oct 26, 2015
Location: Touro College: Bayshore

Nov 6, 2015 - Nov 8, 2015
Location: Results Physiotherapy

Nov 6, 2015 - Nov 8, 2015
Location: University of Utah Orthopedic Center

Nov 6, 2015 - Nov 8, 2015
Location: Women's Hospital of Texas

Nov 6, 2015 - Nov 8, 2015
Location: Evergreen Hospital Medical Center

Nov 13, 2015 - Nov 15, 2015
Location: FunctionSmart Physical Therapy

Nov 14, 2015 - Nov 15, 2015
Location: The Everett Clinic

Nov 14, 2015 - Nov 15, 2015
Location: Restore Motion

Nov 15, 2015 - Nov 16, 2015
Location: Touro College