Kari Smith becomes first Iowa physical therapist board certified in biofeedback

July 18, 2013 —

Kari Smith, DMU assistant professor and physical therapistKari Smith, D.P.T., ATC, BCB-PMD, received board certification in pelvic muscle dysfunction biofeedback by the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance (BCIA). She becomes the only physical therapist in Iowa certified as a provider of biofeedback services.

Smith is an assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and clinician at Des Moines University. She also recently completed advanced training for pelvic physical therapy, specializing in the treatment of bowel, bladder and pelvic floor disorders for women, men and children. This training, along with her unique certification, will provide rehabilitation opportunities for pelvic muscle dysfunction patients in Iowa.

Biofeedback utilizes electronic instruments to measure the neuromuscular activity within the muscles and detect when a muscle is contracting or relaxing. Visual and auditory feedback is signaled to the patient to help develop an awareness of muscle movement and improve muscle coordination. In patients with pelvic muscle dysfunction, biofeedback is used to help them build voluntary control over the pelvic floor muscles.

BCIA is the only institute recognized worldwide that grants certification to biofeedback practitioners. Currently, more than 1,600 health care professionals, and only three in Iowa, have achieved this certification.

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Des Moines University (DMU) is the only private medical school in Iowa, offering graduate-level, professional degree programs in osteopathic medicine, podiatric medicine, physical therapy, physician assistant studies, biomedical sciences, anatomy, health care administration and public health. Founded in 1898, the institution offers superior academics in a collaborative environment. DMU students' pass rate on national examinations and board certifications is consistently higher than the national average and the rates at similar institutions.