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Specialized Topics in GI Dysfunction - "The Missing Pieces": Live-Online - December 2022

Specialized Topics in GI Dysfunction - "The Missing Pieces": Live-Online - December 2022

Susan Clinton
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This course will be recorded and all registrants will receive a link to access the course recording for a 2-week period following the course. Please mark on your registration form if you will not be attending live (and watching the recording instead) for attendance purposes.


GI system is an integral part of every human experience. Not only does it process food and drink for fuel to power human physiology, but it also governs and interacts with the nervous and cardiovascular systems and influences how these system operate within the movement, endocrine and immune systems. This course will be focused on newer models of the GI system in persistent pain, trauma and specialized populations with autoimmunities, and other complex functional GI disorders. This approach allows for the consideration of management of multiple factors  including nutritional, psychosocial, medical-surgical decisions, and physical therapy examination/intervention advanced intervention for the complex patient. Physiological systems contributions to the GI system require a varied intervention approach to optimize function. A comprehensive understanding of the physiology and symptom manifestation can improve the ability to develop a comprehensive intervention strategy tailored to each patient's needs throughout the episode of care. Case study format and  group discussion will be utilized throughout the course.


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

  1. Understand and define functional bowel disorders relationship to the endocrine, immune and cardiopulmonary systems.
  2. Describe the latest evidence on the HPA axis and the Gut-Brain axis system to multisystem physiology in the human
  3. Application of the multidisciplinary role in assessment of the patient with gastrointestinal disorders including the latest evidence on specialized testing, diet/nutrition, CV/HRV and the autonomic nervous system.
  4. Integrate a physical therapy examination algorithm for differential diagnosis of musculoskeletal impairments and functional movement dysfunctions of individuals with gastrointestinal disorders including the entire GI tract, nocioplastic pain and multiple system influence.
  5. Apply the appropriate psychomotor questionnaires for the assessment of psychosocial and behavioural components as well as the expanded role in intervention.
  6. Develop an updated model of intervention techniques for patients with gastrointestinal disorders based on the evidence of the autonomic nervous system, heart rate variability, nutritional optimization, and exercise balance.
  7. Apply the updated models of examination and intervention of clients with complex gastrointestinal disorders in a case study format.

Audience: This course is open to physiotherapists, naturopathic doctors, nurses and medical doctors.

Practitioners that have completed this course are able to perform evaluation of the musculoskeletal aspect of the complex client with GI system disorders (including a focus on the entire GI region's interaction with the CV, MSK, Respiratory, Endocrine and Immune system). They will be able to establish an individualized treatment plan and its progression for GI functional change with regards to multiple system parameters. The interventions will include manual therapy, movement/exercise, respiration, endocrine, cardiovascular - heart rate variability and clinical reasoning to reduce dysfunction. They also have a systematic approach for optimization of the GI system including digestive disorders, basic nutritional contributions, abdominal and pelvic floor dysfunction, and psychosocial/behavioural contributions.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of the Gastrointestinal Disorders & The Pelvic Floor Course (or equivalent experience) is required.

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Specialized Topics in GI Dysfunction December 2022


Two-day course from 10:30am - 5:00pm ET (Toronto)


Susan C. Clinton, PT, DScPT, OCS, WCS, COMT, FAAOMPT, received her Physical Therapy degree from Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas and a Masters of Health Sciences at LSU Health Science Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. She completed her Doctor of Science degree at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan and graduated with her NAIOMT fellowship in orthopedic manual therapy in 2013. She was accepted as a Fellow by the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Therapists in 2014.

As a Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Manual Therapy, Orthopedics and Women’s Health, she has been actively treating patients with pelvic floor, urinary, bowel, reproductive, oncology, persistent pain, sports injuries and post-surgical diagnoses. She currently practices in Sewickley, Pennsylvania and is the co-owner and founder of Embody Physiotherapy and Wellness, LLC. Susan is active in teaching and research as an adjunct instructor for the University of Pittsburgh, Chatham University and Slippery Rock University. Additionally, she is an international instructor and presenter of post-professional education in women’s health and orthopedic manual therapy and a certified Total Control® Instructor. Her research activities include publications on chronic pelvic pain and clinical practice guidelines for the APTA Section on Women’s Health and Orthopedic Section.

Susan is active with the American Physical Therapy Association, serving in governance as a local delegate and alternate delegate, and as the Chair of the Clinical Practice Guidelines steering committee for the Section on Women’s Health and the Women’s Health Global Initiative. She is the past secretary on the Section on Women’s Health Board of Directors and the former President of the Performing Arts Special Interest Group of the Orthopedic Section of the APTA. She has served as an item writer and case reviewer for the WCS board certification examination and is a member of the credentialing committee with ABPTRFE.