What Every Patient Asks Me
June 10, 2019
How did you get into this?
At some point in most sessions, patients become curious as to my path of education and how I became interested in treating the pelvic floor. It is usually somewhere between, “I have never had a provider spend so much time and ask such thorough questions.” and “I didn’t know physical therapy treated these conditions. I thought it was something I had to deal with” So, how in the world did you end up here?
I was drawn to this field when I did not feel successful as a therapist treating orthopedic conditions, especially women. I saw improvement but not enough and something was missing. That piece of the puzzle was somewhere between,
Head, shoulders…….knees and toes. Umm, I believe there are many parts between the shoulders and knees. Like the entire pelvis. Within the pelvis are many muscles, nerves and tissues that work in synergy to allow for normal bladder, bowel and sexual function. That seems to be an integral part of our existence. But, it was ignored. In songs for children and in education for medical providers and so we didn’t treat what we were not taught. I craved more information and the field of pelvic floor PT seemed like it could be the missing piece.
Once I began learning about the pelvic floor and how important it was for rehabilitation of the spine, hips and so many other conditions, my passion took off. I can’t believe PT’s treat without this knowledge. I also had my first child and a major light went off during my delivery and recovery. The pelvic floor was everything and women are not supported at all! WTF!
With my knowledge of the pelvic floor, I now feel very successful treating women and men (they have pelvic floors too) with back and hip pain, for example, and we now are able to offer additional services to women that have been significantly underserved and misdiagnosed in the medical system. It was like another dimension was exposed, and it answered so many questions!
The pelvic floor function related to so many conditions. Bladder, bowel, sex, fertility, gut health, pain, and so many previously considered “unexplainable” conditions that women were then told to manage or deal with as part of being a woman. Nope!
Medical care for women is less than ideal and in many cases harmful. The fact is the information most providers are working with is dated and does not include research specific to women. There are many great providers who are changing this environment but it is slow and steady and for medicine that means decades. I could go on about the sexism in medicine which has lead many women to suffer but that is another blog. What pelvic floor health has done for me is spark passion and advocacy treating women and changing the environment and expectations in healthcare. This passion has lead to several areas that need to change such as pain management, holistic and preventative care and our terrible “insurance” system.
So my quest initially was to further explain spinal conditions but the journey has lead to a place of advocacy for women in healthcare. We are just getting started and I am ecstatic that I can be a part of it.