IPPS Conference: Must-read Nuggets from Friday’s Session

In Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy by Stephanie Prendergast5 Comments


During its nearly 20-year existence the IPPS has been a major driver of the progress made in the treatment of chronic pelvic pain. And what makes the Annual Meeting of the organization so exciting is that it provides an opportunity for our community of providers to take stock, to determine where we are and where we still need to go in our quest to provide the best treatment for our patients.

Friday’s conference kicked off with a rousing presidential address from our very own Stephanie Prendergast. In her address, Stephanie gave us a look at the IPPS “then and now,” along with a spot-on assessment of the current scope of pelvic pain treatment, which includes four major areas: visceral disease, musculoskeletal dysfunction, central sensitization and neuropathic dysfunction.

Following is a few nuggets that our PHRC team picked up during this day of interesting talks.

Liz listened to Donna Carrico, WHNP, MS talk about the multidisciplinary approach to treatment at the ground-breaking Beumont Women’s Urology Center in Michigan. Donna began her talk by providing evidence-based information on the need for multidisciplinary care models. And in addition to explaining the Women’s Urology Center’s multidisciplinary treatment approach, Donna gave an interesting overview of the Center’s comprehensive five-day pelvic pain retreat. Click here for more info about WUC.

Allison heard Steve George, PT, PhD discuss the psychological influences on pain perception. Steve talked about the variability in pain perception, explained a number of psychological models for pain perception, and concluded by explaining the implications of this information for patients with pelvic pain. The underlying point of Steve’s discussion was that “pain arises in the nervous system, but represents a complex and evolving interplay of biological, behavioral, environmental, and societal factors that go beyond simple explanation.” A major takeaway from Steve’s presentation was that one of the goals of psychosocial treatment is to alter the brain state so it can perceive nociceptive input differently.

Stacey heard from Roger Fillingim, PhD, who spoke on sex differences in chronic pain. Roger discussed the sex differences in clinical and experimental pain, the mechanisms contributing to these differences, and sex differences in response to treatment. An example of the latter is that there is a better placebo effect noted in the research for men versus women and women tend to get more benefit from opiate therapy than men. In addition, he dispelled a host of myths concerning gender differences in chronic pain. For example, it is a myth that sex differences in pain are due to reporting biases (under reporting by men and over reporting by women.)

Malinda attended the lunch breakout session on male pelvic pain delivered by Daniel Kirages, DPT, OSC, FAAOMPT and Henry Lai, MD. The lively discussion included information about common misdiagnosis, symptoms as well as shared observations about treating male pelvic pain patients.

Marcy heard Anand Patel, MD talk about interventional modalities for the diagnosis and treatment of chronic pelvic pain. Dr. Patel, a pain management specialist, talked of the ideal goal of interventional modalities, which is to establish a diagnosis. However, upon failure to do so, that goal shifts to palliative relief. From there, Anand discussed a host of interventional modalities and associated case studies. In addition, among other things, there was a discussion of pulsed radiofrequency ablation and neuromodulation.

Other discussions today, which were equally well-received included:

Endometriosis and Neurotrophic Factors by Bradford Fenton, MD

Evaluation and Management of Chronic Constipation by Sergio Larach, MD

Update on Bladder Pain by Henry Lai, MD

Musculoskeletal Pain Mechanism (Emphasis on Visceral Manipulation) by Dee Hartman, PT, DPT

We hope you’ve enjoyed our summary of today’s lectures! We’re looking forward to tonight’s silent auction; if you’d like to bid on the items on the block (all proceeds go to further the IPPS’s objective of optimizing treatment for those suffering from pelvic pain. Place your bids here!

All our best,



  1. Thanks Liz & Stephanie and all the therapists at the PHRC for the interesting information and feedback regarding the IPPS conference. Wish we could have been there.

  2. Looking forward to the information that Malinda got at the conference. Malinda is a real professional and a positive person.

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