In our weekly feature section, Pelvic Rehab Report is proud to present this interview with Herman & Wallace instructor Allison Ariail, PT, DPT, CLT-LANA, PRPC, BCB-PMD
How did you get started in pelvic rehab?
I got started in pelvic rehab by treating and specializing in SIJ and low back dysfunction. I used ultrasound imaging to retrain the local core muscles including the transverse abdominis, lumbar multifidus, and the pelvic floor muscles. In treating these patients, not only did they improve with respects to their back pain, but their incontinence improved as well! I then started getting referrals from doctors for incontinence patients. So I took PF1 and as they say, the rest is history! I know that pelvic rehab is my calling. I am impassioned about this subject and love treating these patients. I also thoroughly enjoy teaching about the pelvic floor and the pelvic ring. I truly feel I am one of the lucky ones to actually love what I do!
What do you find most rewarding about treating this patient population?
I am passionate about treating this patient population because it makes such a difference in their lives! I have had more patients than I like to admit say that if they did not find me and get on my schedule, they would have killed themselves due to their pain. This is so sad and alarming to me that individuals have gotten to the point of considering those thoughts. I feel blessed that I am in a position to not only improve their lives in the physical sense but also in the emotional one by lessoning their pain and improving their outlook on life! To me there is nothing more rewarding than seeing this dramatic of a change in a patient.
What do you find most rewarding about teaching?
One reason I love teaching is because it is a way to help improve the lives of more people suffering with pelvic disorders! There are not enough therapists that specialize in the pelvic floor and by teaching other therapists how to appropriately treat pelvic floor dysfunction, it positively impacts more people’s lives! I always find it magical when a course participant is hesitant and nervous to take the course. Then after the course they are excited and enthusiastic to treat this patient population and to learn more about this field. This is very rewarding to me and a reason I look forward to teaching each and every course.
If you could get a message to all therapists about pelvic rehab, what would it be?
One message I would try to get out to therapists about pelvic rehab is to get out and talk about it! Discuss what you do with physicians, the community, as well as people you meet in every day life. Often, when someone finds out what you do, you will get questions asked of you. However, don’t wait for this! There are so many women and men suffering in silence thinking that there is nothing they can do. So get out there and tell them what you do and how you can help can improve lives! Don’t be hesitant or shy, be energetic and excited to share your knowledge and educate the public about what we do as pelvic therapists!