Behavioral and Rehabilitation Treatment of Bowel Disorders

We have made the difficult decision to cancel the Nov Behavioral and Rehabilitation Treatment of Bowel Disorders course at Marquette University due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The health and safety of our participants and instructors is our highest priority, and the remaining uncertainty has proven to be too high of a logistical challenge to overcome.

Course Overview

This is an advanced three-day course designed for nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists and other health care providers who are seeking a better understanding of the various bowel disorders that affect children, women and men; and the specific rehabilitation strategies that are useful in treating these disorders.

The course is appropriate for clinicians who have already attended a basic didactic course that has covered rehabilitation and biofeedback treatment for pelvic floor disorders.

Accordingly, the presenter will assume that the participants have a good understanding of the structure of the pelvis, pelvic floor muscle anatomy and general biofeedback treatments for pelvic floor muscle dysfunction. The emphasis of this course will be to comprehensively present specific neuromuscular re-education and sensory training with bowel management strategies that are designed to improve bowel storage and evacuation function and resolve complaints of pain associated with these disorders.

Instructor: Jeannette Tries Ph.D., OTR, BCB-PMD

Dr. Tries received a BS in Occupational Therapy from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee in 1978, a MS in clinical psychology in 1989 and a PhD in Educational Psychology in 2000 from Marquette University. She has worked in the field of incontinence and pelvic floor disorders since 1986 and has published in numerous scientific journals and medical textbooks. She has consulted on national and international policy boards interested in the problems of incontinence and pelvic floor disorders and contributed to the Agency for Healthcare Policy and Research Clinical Practice Guideline on Urinary Incontinence. She currently sits on the NIH funded Advisory Board for the Pelvic Floor Disorders Network. As Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery, Dr. Tries established and directed therapy services for 15 years within the Colon-Rectal Surgery Department in the College of Medicine at the University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago. There she worked with Eugene Eisman, PhD developing measurement methods to assess pelvic floor muscle function in pediatrics and adults. For 14 years Dr. Tries directed rehabilitation treatment at The Aurora Women’s Pavilion’s Center for Continence and Pelvic Floor Disorders in Milwaukee, WI. She is a senior fellow of the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance and is certified in pelvic muscle dysfunction biofeedback.

Course Objectives

Participants will learn...

Anatomy and physiology of bowel function.

Pathophysiology, Etiology and Testing for:

  • Fecal Incontinence
  • Evacuation disorders
    • colonic inertia, constipation
    • pelvic floor muscle dysfunction
  • Irritable bowel disorder
  • Painful bowel and anorectal conditions

Surgical and Medical Treatments for bowel dysfunction

Behavioral and Rehabilitation Treatments for bowel dysfunction including:

  • Pelvic floor muscle retraining protocols to increase tone, coordination, relaxation and elongation
  • Ano-rectal sensory training
  • Evacuation re-training
  • Bowel management strategies
  • Fecal Incontinence
  • Evacuation disorders
  • Habit Training techniques
  • Record keeping to support the rehabilitation process
  • Management of stool consistency
  • Dietary factors
  • Integration of medical treatments with behavioral and pelvic floor rehabilitation
  • Overview of manual therapy strategies for smooth and striated muscle and facial structures
  • Introduction to meditation and relaxation strategies and lab

Case study presentations will include pediatric cases and complex co-morbid conditions in men and women.

Course Schedule

Thursday, October 10

  • 8:30am: Registration and breakfast
  • 9:00am: Introductions, anatomy & physiology review
  • 10:30am: Break
  • 10:45am: Anatomy & physiology (continued)
  • 12:00pm: Lunch
  • 1:00pm: Disorders of the lower bowel
  • 2:30pm: Break
  • 2:45pm: Disorders continued
  • 3:45pm: Neural plasticity, pain
  • 4:40pm: Quieting techniques and meditation with lab
  • 5:00pm: Adjourn

Friday, October 11

  • 8:30am: Breakfast
  • 9:00am: Various treatments for bowel disorders
  • 10:30am: Break
  • 10:45am: Bowel management, behavioral interventions
  • 12;00pm: Lunch
  • 1:00pm: Biofeedback evaluation, treatment strategies for bowel dysfunction
  • 3:00pm: Break
  • 3:15pm: Case Presentations
  • 5:00pm: Adjourn

Saturday, October 12

  • 7:30am: Breakfast
  • 8:00am: Balloon training protocol(s) and simulation (sensory and motor response testing, evacuation training)
  • 9:30am: Break
  • 9:45am: Pediatric case and video, followed by additional cases
  • 10:45am: Anorectal pain with case illustration
  • 12:00pm: Lunch
  • 1:00pm: Treatment progression with case presentations
  • 2:00pm: Adjourn

Contact Hours

17.5 approval pending

Student studying on campus


Course Testimonials

  • “An invaluable course focused on treatment that every practitioner will benefit from; the many years and vast expertise from Dr. Jeanette Tries” Sharyn Coates, OTR/L, Grand Rapids, MI
  • “Each time I take a course, I leave feeling empowered and more knowledgeable. The presenters are always knowledgeable and full of a wealth of experiences that blend the clinical and academic together, making the material come alive and functional. I would always highly recommend these courses.” Remi Durojaiye, DPT, Georgia, Nigeria –Repeat participant
  • “It was a true privilege to attend this course. The material was well organized and had immediate clinical application. In addition, it was so nice knowing that part of our tuition was going to help physical therapy students with a scholarship fund.” Michelle Clark, MSPT, Kingston, RI
  • “Highly recommend this course for anyone treating bowel or bladder disorders! Jeanette is an amazing educator and has years of experience and research to share with the class! To learn how to retrain the smooth muscle of the bowel was my missing link!” Robin Lund, PT Sioux Falls.
  • “Dr. Tries was an excellent instructor answering every question we had. She clearly is an expert as she was able to explain the complex in very simple terms using great analogies (which I will use with my patients) I hope to attend the June course!!! Will recommend to EVERYONE.” Tracie Del Sesto PT, DPT, MBA, CMT East Greenwich RI
  • Marquette extends a warm welcome to course attendees through our practice of cura personalis (care for the whole person). We provide attendees with wonderful extras including healthy meals and snacks, a comfortable lecture hall and lab settings, and a beautiful campus to walk during breaks.
  • “Thank you so much for the wonderful hospitality at the continuing ed course at Marquette University last week. I've never before gone to a course and felt like I was just meeting up with old friends. You did a marvelous job making everyone feel welcome and informed and above all, well fed!” Susan Butler, PT, DPT, Cert MDT Lansing MI
  • “Many thanks to Diane Slaughter, she was extremely responsive and detailed in all of her correspondence with me! Her direction, arrangements for transportation and hotels was the BEST I have ever experienced in 24 years of attending conferences. Obviously the food was amazing and always “overlooked’ at our usual PT conferences.” Tracie Del Sesto PT, DPT, MBA, CMT East Greenwich RI