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Bowel Pathology and Function - Phoenix, AZ - October 17-18, 2020 (RESCHEDULED)

Due to on going concerns around Covid19 this course has had to be pivoted to an online course. Please see more information here

  • Description

  • Schedule

  • Objectives

  • Location/Lodging

  • Instructors

  • Discounts

Price: $495 (Early Registrant Price $475)
Experience Level: Intermediate
Contact Hours: 16

This intermediate, two-day course covers comprehensive evaluation and treatment techniques for bowel pathologies and dysfunctions, including fecal incontinence, chronic constipation, and the relationship between constipation and rectal and/or abdominal pain. According to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, constipation affects up to 15% of the population, and fecal incontinence affects almost 1 in 12 people. Interestingly, research by Nurko and Scott in 2001 has described both incomplete emptying and constipation as being associated with fecal incontinence. How does the pelvic rehabilitation provider determine on which dysfunction to focus? And which factors influencing bowel dysfunction are modifiable? What is the role of the pelvic floor muscles in relation to bowel health? All of these questions and more are addressed in Lila Abbate's specialty course on bowel pathology, function and dysfunction. As knowledge of the pelvic structures and nervous system are critical in understanding the pelvic rehabilitation provider's role in bowel dysfunction, anatomy and physiology of the gastrointestinal system and pelvis will be discussed throughout the course. The implications of the pelvic floor muscles specific to bowel dysfunction will be instructed so that the participant can increase comfort level with examination, evaluation, and intervention strategies.

The Bowel Pathology, Function, Dysfunction & the Pelvic Floor course covers the use of food and fluid diaries, over-the-counter and home remedies, and use of prescription medication to treat bowel dysfunction. Relevant, basic nutrition principles will be instructed so that a provider can make recommendations towards healthy digestion based on the results of completed food and fluid diaries. This course includes comprehensive lab-based skill acquisition with internal (vaginal or rectal) palpation, sphincter muscle releases, abdominal wall massage to improve bowel motility, palpatory skills for the visceral evaluation and treatment of the sphincter and large intestine motility, and corrective taping techniques for the abdomen when needed. Therapists will also learn how to utilize anorectal manometry balloons in the clinic which is a technique that can help in increasing sensitivity or decreasing sensitivity to rectal filling, depending on the patient's presentation and needs. In addition, although participants in this continuing education course will not be instructed in the basic use of an sEMG (surface electromyographic) biofeedback device, therapists will learn how to recognize and treat paradoxical pelvic floor muscle contractions, and will be able to prescribe home biofeedback when appropriate utilizing current, evidence-based principles.

Having a familiarity with the medical evaluation of bowel dysfunctions can be very useful in the clinic, and this bowel course will instruct in common medical tests, interpretation, and meaningfulness to the pelvic rehabilitation provider. Typical physical therapy outcomes tools for pelvic floor and bowel health will be instructed so that participants can properly measure baseline and discharge outcomes.



This continuing education seminar is targeted to physical therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapist assistants, occupational therapist assistants, registered nurses, nurse midwives, and other rehabilitation professionals. Content is not intended for use outside the scope of the learner's license or regulation. Physical therapy continuing education courses should not be taken by individuals who are not licensed or otherwise regulated, except, as they are involved in a specific plan of care.


It is required that the participants have a working experience with evaluating and treating patients with pelvic pain inclusive of both vaginal and rectal examination. Pelvic Floor Level 1, through Herman & Wallace or Pelvic PT 1 through the APTA is strongly recommended.


Special Considerations:

As this continuing education course includes lab work, all course attendees should come prepared to participate as both clinician and patient.

Nurko S, Scott S. COEXISTENCE OF CONSTIPATION AND INCONTINENCE IN CHILDREN AND ADULTS. Best practice & research Clinical gastroenterology. 2011;25(1):29-41. doi:10.1016/j.bpg.2010.12.002.

Day One:
8:00 Registration
8:30 Introduction to digestive system function and dysfunction
10:00 Break
10:15 Digestive Lab and palpation, sphincter release/colon massage
12:30 Lunch
1:30 Review of digestive and anorectal muscle anatomy, defecation process
2:30 Diastasis lab and taping for correction
3:00 Break
3:15 Vaginal/Rectal Lab: Muscle mapping Lab: Supine/Prone/Sidelying palpation and treatment
5:00 Adjourn

Day Two:
8:00 Questions
8:15 Medical side of constipation: tests, medications and treatment
9:15 Medical side of fecal incontinence: tests, medications and treatment
10:00 Break
10:15 Lab: balloon manometry 
12:00 Lunch
1:00 Over-the-counter products and medications lecture for treatment of chronic constipation and fecal incontinence
3:00 Break
3:15 SEMG lecture for coordination training for paradoxical pelvic floor function
4:30 Adjourn

Upon completion of this continuing education seminar, participants will be able to:

1. Identify the structures and functions of the digestive system, and have a general understanding of bowel disease.
2. Understand general medical assessment, medical tests and outcomes, medications given and how they relate to pelvic floor function/dysfunction.
3. Palpate and treat more specific musculature via the anorectal canal to improve chronic constipation and paradoxical pelvic floor function.
4. Explain the functions of the pelvic muscles during continence and defecation.
5. Instruct in general nutritional guidance for continence and bowel health.
6. Effectively utilize sEMG biofeedback to increase or decrease pelvic floor muscle activity
7. Assess and provide corrective exercises for abdominal wall separation.
8. Apply principles of differential diagnosis for pelvic muscle dysfunction versus bowel disease.
9. Create an appropriate plan of care based on a patient’s symptoms and physical examination.
10. Select the most appropriate physical findings and use of validated questionnaires to determine a treatment plan.

 NameStreet Address (Links to Map)
Course Location

360 Sports Medicine & Aquatic Rehabilitation Centers

4210 E. Baseline Rd. Ste 106
Mesa, AZ 85206
Recommended Lodging

Hampton Inn & Suites Phoenix East Mesa
(480) 654-4000

1825 North Higley Road
Gilbert, AZ 85234
Nearest Airport

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
Airport Code: PHX

3400 E Sky Harbor Blvd
Phoenix, AZ 85034


Directions from Recommended Lodging to Course Location: (click here if no map appears below)

Lila Abbate, PT, DPT, MS, OCS, PRPC

Lila Abbate, PT, DPT, MS, OCS, PRPCLila Abbate graduated from Touro College in Dix Hills, NY with a Bachelors of Science (BS) in Health Sciences and a Masters of Arts (MA) in Physical Therapy in 1997. Lila completed her Advanced Masters in Manual Orthopedic Physical Therapy (MS) at Touro College, Bayshore, NY in 2003 and continued to obtain her Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) in 2005. Currently, Dr. Abbate is pursuing her PhD at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and plans to conduct research in Women’s and Men’s Pelvic Health. Dr. Abbate is also a Physical Therapy Board-Certified Specialist in Orthopedics (OCS) deemed by the American Physical Therapy Association in 2004.

Dr. Abbate has been faculty at Touro College (2003 – 2006), Manhattan Campus, teaching the biomechanical approach to orthopedic dysfunction, therapeutic exercise as well as massage/soft tissues work that highlighted trigger point work, scar management and myofascial release.

Currently, Dr. Abbate currently owns a private practice in Manhasset, NY specializing in complex orthopedic conditions and pelvic floor dysfunction.

Attention: We are unable to offer "retro-active" discounts (i.e. applying a discount to a transaction after the transaction takes place), so if you are interested in exploring discount options and you are unsure if your transactions is eligible for a discount, please contact us to inquire.

Multi-Course Discount

This 10% discount is available for a single registrant who wishes to enroll in 3 or more courses, and pay in one transaction. Registrants wishing to enroll in 5 or more courses should contact us for a customized quote. We can also apply this discount if 2 therapists from a single clinic/hospital enroll in 3 or more courses (ie Registrant A enrolls in Course X and Course Y, Registrant B enrolls in Course X, and Registrants A and B both work at Clinic Z). This discount cannot be used in combination with any other discounts. Registration and payment must be received at the same time in one credit card payment, one check or one envelop with multiple checks. This type of registration cannot be completed online, if you are wishing to receive the Multi-Course discount please call or email us directly for assistance.

Group Discount

This discount is available for a group of three or more registrants, who all work at the same clinic/hospital, enroll in a single course, and pay in a single transaction or mail in multiple checks in a single envelope. This discount cannot be used in combination with any other discounts.

Groups of 3-5 receive a 10% discount off the combined price of their group's registrations.
Groups of 6 or more should call or Contact Us so that we can properly create an invoice for your registration.

Student Discount

This 10% discount is available to current students who have yet to earn a license to practice at the time of course registration. This discount is not available to those therapists who have previously held a license, and are currently enrolled in a doctoral, or other post-graduate, program. This discount cannot be used in combination with any other discounts.


To get this discount when checking out online, use the code 2020Student. (Note, this code is only valid for non-licensed students. The H&W admin team will verify that registrants signed up with this code are, indeed, current students prior to their attendance of the course).

First-Time Registrant Discount

This $50.00 discount is available to any therapist who has never before taken a Herman & Wallace course (no previous registrations) and can be used towards the registrant's first Herman & Wallace course (not applicable to Pelvic Floor Level 1/2A/2B or Capstone).

To apply this discount, please use the code FirstTimer2020 during check out. (H&W will check records to verify past attendance.)

Referral Credit/Discount

Any therapist who has already taken a Herman & Wallace course will earn a $50.00 "referral credit" if:

1. A therapist who has never taken a Herman & Wallace course successfully registers for his or her first course(s); AND
2. In the registration process, the first-time registrant gives the name and clinic/hospital of the therapist who referred them to Herman & Wallace.

A therapist who has earned a $50.00 "referral credit" may use this credit toward any course that is eligible for a "referral discount".

Guest Blogger Credit/Discount

Any therapist who completes a qualifying guest blog post on the Herman & Wallace blog will earn a $50.00 "guest blogger credit". This credit may be applied toward any course eligible for a "guest blogger discount".