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Physical Therapy Management of the Pregnant Patient

An Evidence Based Approach

Give Your Pregnant Patients The Care They Need

Pregnant women regularly experience musculoskeletal impairments necessitating physical therapy treatment. The physiological changes that accompany pregnancy can result in a variety of impairments and musculoskeletal pains (Lillios 2012). These include but are not limited to ligamentous laxity throughout the body, and significant changes to the lumbar spine and pelvic girdle. It is estimated that 50% of pregnant women report low back or pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy, and may be as high as 80% in some populations (Sabino 2008) A pregnant patient may also be referred to physical therapy for a non-pregnancy related injury. For these reasons it is imperative that physical therapists (PT) and physical therapy assistants (PTA) be educated in important principles unique to pregnancy when evaluating and treating a pregnant patient.



The purpose of this course is to provide knowledge of anatomical and physiological changes, common musculoskeletal impairments, safety concerns during treatment and evaluation, and evidence based treatment techniques for pregnant patients. Because many physical therapists do not receive formal education in management of pregnant patients, it is necessary to build on this knowledge in post- entry level education (Krum 2005). Furthermore, many physical therapists erroneously believe that only specialized women’s health physical therapists may treat pregnant patients when in fact this is false. Any physical therapist possessing accurate knowledge of the indications, contraindications, and special needs of the pregnant patient can effectively treat one. This intermediate level course will provide the learner with key contraindications and modifications to traditional physical therapy management to ensure successful and safe therapy to a pregnant patient. Upon completion of this course, physical therapy practitioners will be prepared with practical tools to use in the clinic immediately.


In order to receive continuing education credit you must score 70% or higher on a 20 question exam.


Your Instructor


Amanda Olson DPT, PRPC
Amanda Olson DPT, PRPC

Dr. Olson earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Pacific University in 2005, and a Doctorate Degree in Physical Therapy from Regis University in 2008, graduating as a member of the Jesuit National Honor Society. She is holds a Certification of Achievement in pelvic floor physical therapy (CAPP-PF) through the APTA, and the Pelvic Floor Practitioner Certification (PRPC) through the Herman and Wallace Pelvic Institute. She is also a certified Stott Pilates instructor and running coach, which she finds useful in curating treatment approaches. Dr. Olson has written several physical therapy continuing education courses, newspaper and magazine articles on women’s health, pelvic floor dysfunction, and running. She is a core research member on the Clinical Practice Guideline committee to create guidelines for physical therapy management of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).

She is the president and chief clinical officer of Intimate Rose where she develops pelvic health products and education, and authored the book Restoring the Pelvic Floor For Women. She is passionate about empowering women and men with pelvic health issues including pelvic pain, incontinence, and pre and postpartum issues.


Course Curriculum


  Introduction & Terminology
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  Physical and Physiological Changes In The Pregnant Woman
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  Examination & Treatment Principles of the Pregnant Patient
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  Physical Therapy Management of Common Musculoskeletal Impairments of the Pregnant Patient
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  Exercise Considerations & Equipment
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  Exam
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  Course Evaluation Form
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Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
Is pelvic floor experience required?
No! This course is for all PT's and PTA's who might have the opportunity to treat a pregnant patient.
How many CEU's will I get?
This course is accredited for 4 hours of continuing education

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