Monday, June 10, 2013

Finding A Pelvic Floor Therapist

So you may have noticed that, in all my blogs, I recommend seeing a pelvic floor therapist if you are having issues with pain or incontinence or whatever the symptoms may be. You may be wondering about the best way to find a pelvic floor therapist, and that is what today's post is all about.

There are a couple of websites that are great resources for finding a pelvic floor therapist.

Find a Women's Health Physical Therapist
Women's Health PT Locator

The first is the Section on Women's Health (SOWH) website. The SOWH is a branch of the American Physical Therapy Association. Their website can be found here. If you go to their website and look at the options at the top, you will find a tab that says Our Patients. Under this tab you will find a lot of great information for patients, such as common conditions that a Women's Health therapist treats, commonly asked questions, and advice on how to start a conversation with your doctor about your concerns about your pelvic issues. Though "Women's Health" is in the title of this group of therapists, many of them treat pelvic floor dysfunction in both men and women. There is also a link to the Women's Health PT Locator which can be found by clicking below the image to the left. A Women's Health PT can be added to this list by being a member of the American Physical Therapy Association.

Another great resource for finding a pelvic floor therapist is the Herman & Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute, which can be found here. Herman & Wallace provides continuing education courses for the treatment of pelvic floor dysfunction. They provide a practitioner directory that is under the tab Products + Resources. A provider will only be added to this directory if they have taken a Herman & Wallace course. It can also be linked to below.                                                                                                             

Practitioner Directory
Although these two resources have many providers listed, the are not necessarily all-inclusive. There are also many areas throughout the country where there may not be a pelvic floor therapist to help you, as the demand for pelvic floor PTs is much higher than the supply. In this case, it may be beneficial for you to travel to an area that has a number of pelvic floor therapists to seek treatment. I know that in San Francisco, New York City and here in Austin, Texas there are clinics in which the physical therapists specialize in pelvic floor dysfunction and only treat this population. At the clinic where I am located, we even have patients come in from out of state to be treated, and we are open to them bringing their local physical therapist so that we can teach them techniques that will benefit these patients and can be performed locally. I know that traveling for PT can be challenge, but it is worth it when you find a PT who can dramatically improve your quality of life.

When you are searching for a PT, you should ask what types of pelvic floor dysfunction that they treat. There are some therapists out there that only have experience treating incontinence and may not be a good fit for someone with chronic pelvic pain. You want to find someone with experience treating your specific issues.

As another resource, there is a great article titled "What is a ‘Good’ Pelvic Floor PT Session Like?" on the Pelvic Pain Rehab blog that discusses what you should be looking for when you go to a pelvic floor therapist.

Good luck with your search!