Why do I practice Pelvic Physical Therapy?
Here’s a question that I receive almost every week in my clinic from patients: “How and why did you get into the practice of pelvic physical therapy?”
How I got into this work is easy: A family practice doctor in town called the clinic where I was practicing in 1990 and asked if any of the PT’s were utilizing biofeedback with patients experiencing urinary incontinence. Our answer was simply, “no”. After hanging up the phone, I looked at one of the other PT’s and asked “how does biofeedback help with urinary incontinence and why would a PT do this work?” Jean, the other PT, and I were intrigued enough with the possibility of a new physical therapy avenue so we attended a seminar in Seattle on biofeedback for urinary incontinence. After the class, we were hooked and 25 years later we are both still practicing as Pelvic PT’s.
Why I am a pelvic Physical Therapist requires more thought and insight. I can say with confidence that I love what I do, I love my patients, their authenticity and strength of spirit when they come into my clinic and share things with me that are not always easily shared with a healthcare provider. Symptoms of: urinary incontinence, pelvic prolapse, chronic pain, sexual dysfunction, to name a few. I love that I can provide information that is not common knowledge but is often simple to incorporate into everyday life. We Pelvic PT’s are not afraid to ask the uncommon questions and to search for uncommon answers. And, we are ok being with the sadness, grief and embarrassment that can come along with pelvic challenges like: chronic pain, urinary or bowel incontinence, sexual dysfunction and relationship and social issues.
So why do I do it?: Honestly, and selfishly, I achieve incredible satisfaction when my patients tell me their success stories: “I can take that trip overseas now that I don’t leak”, “sex is pleasurable again with my partner because my pain is gone”, “I can go to the gym and exercise like I did before pregnancy because I am feeling so much better.” I do it because when my patients can live their lives free from the constraints of pelvic issues, it brings me great satisfaction and joy. It’s really that simple.