In our weekly feature section, Pelvic Rehab Report is proud to present this interview with newly certified practitioner Alyssa Rutchik Padial, PT, MS, OCS, PRPC
Describe your clinical practice:
For 18 years, I have been privileged to be a part of NYC’s #1 New York Presbyterian Hospital, working in the hospital-based out-patient arena. The patient population is diverse, and the great fortune of being at an academic institution means that I have had the opportunity to see and learn about effective treatments for all kinds of patients. We treat any orthopedic, neurological, vestibular, trauma, burn, hand, spine, and of course pelvic patient! Our pelvic health program was initiated in 2002 and we see male and female patients with all types of pelvic dysfunction – bladder, bowel, sexual, pain. We treat women throughout the peri-partum and post partum span. Our practice has 3 pelvic rehabilitation physical therapists and patients are typically seen 1x/week for 30-45 minute sessions. Additionally, I see patients in Westchester and Rockland Counties in NY on a fee-for service basis.
What/who inspired you to become involved in pelvic rehabilitation?
My first course with Herman & Wallace was, “Clinical Highlights of Pregnancy and Post-Partum,” taught by Hollis Herman. She had me at hello! Her energy, dynamic and charismatic presence brought the topic to a level I couldn’t resist, and I hadn’t even had my babies yet! She introduced the pelvic floor as it relates to the hormonal influences and body mechanics in women, and I realized she had just filled a large gap in my knowledge. I could immediately see how every person could benefit from my further understanding. I simply followed Holly, and then Kathe Wallace, around the country taking all of their courses. They taught me that addressing the topics that some may find embarrassing is critical to our understanding of ourselves and our patients. As I often say, and if you’ll pardon the vernacular, we all pee, poop and have sexual desires, so let’s make sure we can talk about it! When these systems don’t work, life becomes very difficult. At the same time I was furthering my education in pelvic health, I was expanding my clinical knowledge of the spine, the foot and ankle, and the systems of balance, and the connections between all of these parts helped the puzzle of the body become more complete.
Treating men and women with pelvic dysfunction is such a privilege. I owe all of my passion for my work to Hollis Herman and Kathe Wallace.
If you could get a message out to physical therapists about pelvic rehabilitation what would it be?
One of the things that I have found very important in my practice is that pelvic rehabilitation is not just about the pelvis. If I were to encourage one thing to other physical therapists interested in this area of specialty, it would be to take as many orthopedic courses as possible – know the mechanics of the spine, from the cervical down to the coccyx, learn the nerves and the muscles of the anatomy inside and out, learn about the influences of the feet on our ability to adapt to the ground, our ability to absorb shock…All of what happens below and above the pelvis is so incredibly relevant, and to treat the pelvis effectively, there must be an understanding of its surroundings.
What has been your favorite Herman & Wallace Course and why?
I have loved every single one of them, but I would have to say my favorite Herman & Wallace course was Pelvic Floor Level 1, which I took in 2003. I went into the course a bit shy, a bit unsure, and I left feeling more confident and armed with skills that I knew would make a difference. This also was the course where I met so many amazing women who continue to be incredible resources and friends.
What makes you the most proud to have earned PRPC?
I am incredibly proud to have been in the inaugural group of talented therapists to earn this certification. After years of hard work and really loving what I do, it’s nice to be recognized as a specialist.
Learn more about Alyssa Rutchik Padial, PT, MS, OCS, PRPC at her Certified Pelvic Rehabilitation Practitioner bio page. You can also learn more about the Pelvic Rehabilitation Practitioner Certification at www.hermanwallace.com/certification.