The practice of physical therapy has greatly evolved over the years. Along with most other fields of medicine, physical therapy continues to become more and more specialized. More than ever before, physical therapy has also branched into areas of wellness and prevention that has allowed patients to continue their overall health long after recovery.
Being exposed to a Women’s Health course in my Doctorate program, I immediately knew that was the speciality I wanted to achieve. After passing my board certification and attending many continuing education courses, I became a Doctor of Physical Therapy and Board Certified as a Women’s Health Clinical Specialist.
But exactly what does that mean? What is a Women’s Health PT specialist and why should I see one? How could this possibly benefit me?
As a Women’s Health Physical Therapist, our goal is to optimize function as it relates to the pelvic floor. A Women’s Health Physical Therapist is competent in treating women who have had any pain, dysfunction, surgery or anything associated in their abdominal and/or pelvic region. This might include, but not limited to, issues in and around pregnancy and delivery, pelvic floor pain, incontinence, anorgasmia and more. And because the proper function of the pelvic floor is a key component to the core system, many other orthopedic concerns such as hip or back pain, can be treated by a Women’s Health PT as well.
A Women’s Health physical therapist will take you through a thorough medical history, assess your posture, strength, flexibility, movement, gait, viscera and pelvic floor function through an internal pelvic floor exam if appropriate. Nutrition and lifestyle is also a key component to Women’s Health and wellness, so will therefore also be addressed and incorporated in the treatment plan.
In today’s society many women’s health issues such as back pain during pregnancy, or incontinence after pregnancy are easily brushed off and considered “normal”. When in fact, these symptoms might be very “common”, they are not “normal” at all. I’m here to tell you that you can live pain free after giving birth. That you can continue to have mobility in your upper body post mastectomy. And you don’t need to leak urine every time you laugh. Symptoms or no symptoms, a Women’s Health Physical Therapist can guide you to feeling like your best self and connect to your inner core.