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Pelvic Health Workshop


February 6 & 7, 2018 - 2 Day

1.05 CPTA CEU's

Instructors: Sandy Hilton PT, DPT, MS & Carolyn Vandyken, BHSc (PT), Cred MDT, CCMA

This course is open to all health care professionals. No prerequisites required. Pants on course!! No internals required!

To Kegel or Not: That is the Question!!

Pelvic floor problems are prevalent in more than 2/3 of women with LBP/PGP, and 1/3 of men with LBP

Is this important fact affecting your outcomes for chronic LBP?


Here is Carolyn Vandyken's 2017 Summit presentation about pelvic floor dysfuntion.


Course Description

This is an intermediate course that will consist of lecture/lab. And there will be 2 instructors for the maximum of 30 attendees.

Pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD) can include hypertonic and hypotonic muscle problems.  It is not all about kegels! How can you tell if your patient is over-recruiting their pelvic floor if you cannot do an internal exam?  Not all clinicians want to perform this type of exam, or it may not be in your scope of practice.  Learn what the evidence says about linking pelvic floor dysfunction to chronic low back pain, pelvic girdle pain and hip pain, and learn what you can do about it in your practice.

Help your patients to regain control of these important muscles!  Sexual function and bladder/bowel function are arguably some of the most important activities of daily living that your patients need to recover.  Don't let your discomfort be the barrier for your patient's recovery; we will make it fun and non-threatening!


Upon completion of this course, the participant will be able to:

  • Analyze the relevance of PFD when treating orthopaedic conditions- specifically LBP and Hip pain
  • Identify the basic anatomy of the pelvic floor musculature and physiology of the lower urinary tract system (LUTS)
  • Define pelvic floor conditions as they relate to a weak pelvic floor and an over active pelvic floor
  • Explain how to ask patients important questions about sexual function
  • Organize non-internal management strategies for pelvic floor retraining
  • Construct a prescription and progression of pelvic floor exercises for an over active pelvic floor
  • Analyze a bladder and fibre diary to help retrain a variety of dysfunctions of the urinary and bowel system
  • Use externally driven techniques for assessing and treating pelvic floor dysfunction
  • Identify when to refer to a specially trained physiotherapist for incontinence and pelvic pain


Feb. 6

7:45 am - 8:25 am - check in/registration

8:30 am- 9:00 am: Introduction

9:00 am- 9:45 am: Anatomy of the Pelvic floor

9:45 am -10:00 am: Break

10:00 am- 12:00 pm: Five Functions of the Pelvic Floor

12:00 pm- 1:00 pm: LUNCH

1:00 pm- 1:30 pm: Physiology of the Overactive Pelvic Floor

1:30 pm- 3:00 pm: External Assessment of the Pelvic Floor

3:00 pm- 3:15 pm: Break

3:15 pm-4:30 pm: Lab: External Assessment


Feb. 7

8:30 am- 9:00 am: Review of Day One

9:00 am- 12:00 pm: Treatment: Lecture and Interactive Lab

12:00 pm- 12:30 pm: Wrap-up/case studies


About the Instructors

Sandy Hilton graduated from Pacific University (Oregon) in 1988 with a Master of Science in Physical Therapy and a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Des Moines University in December 2013. She has worked in multiple settings across the US with neurologic and orthopaedic emphasis combining these with a focus in pelvic rehabilitation for pain and dysfunction since 1995. Sandy has taught Health Professionals and Community Education classes on returning to function following back and pelvic pain, assisted with Myofascial Release education, and co-teaches Advanced Level Male Pelvic Floor Evaluation and Treatment.

Sandy’s clinical interest is chronic pain with a particular interest in complex pelvic pain disorders for men and women.  Sandy is also pursuing opportunities for collaboration in research into the clinical treatment of pelvic pain conditions. Sandy brings science and common sense together beautifully to help people learn to help themselves.


Carolyn Vandyken has practiced in a wide variety of clinical settings, focusing primarily on orthopedics. She has been a McKenzie credentialed physiotherapist since 1999 and has been a member of the Canadian College of Medical Acupuncture since 2002. Her clinical focus changed to Pelvic Health and Incontinence in 2001. She owned and managed her own clinical practice from 1999-2009; she then became the Clinical Practice Leader for Centric Health from 2009 to August 2015, mentoring and training pelvic health physiotherapists throughout Canada. Carolyn has spoken at over 50 conferences and grand round presentations throughout Canada and the United States.

Carolyn was an invited speaker at the First World Congress for Abdominal-Pelvic Pain in Amsterdam (2013) on central pain mechanisms and abdomino-pelvic pain, and she has presented at various workshops at international conferences, including the NOI Pain and Neurodynamics conference in Adelaide, Australia (2012) and IPPS in 2014. Carolyn co-authored two peer-reviewed framework articles with Sandra Hilton on the assessment and treatment of persistent pelvic pain; they also wrote two chapters in International textbooks on Central Pain mechanisms and pelvic pain.

Carolyn and Sandra just published the first book on patient-centered pain science education for pelvic pain, Why Pelvic Pain hurts, along with physical therapist, Adriaan Louw. Carolyn won the prestigious Woman of Distinction award from the YWCA in 2003 for her work in pelvic floor rehabilitation and the OPA’s excellence in education award in 2015.