In our weekly feature section, Pelvic Rehab Report is proud to present this interview with newly certified practitioner Amy Robinson, PT, PRPC, CLT.
What/who inspired you to become involved in the pelvic rehabilitation field?:
I first learned about pelvic rehabilitation while I was a student at the Indiana University Physical Therapy program. The instructor brought in speakers for special topics sessions and I must admit I knew at that moment that pelvic rehab was an area of interest for me. However, I was hesitant to start in the area of pelvic health as I felt I needed to gain experience as a new graduate, and I also wasn’t sure I would feel comfortable performing pelvic examinations. I chose to work in a hospital setting for one year, a long term care setting for 2 years, and then transitioned into outpatient physical therapy. There were numerous times in each of those settings that it was apparent pelvic rehabilitation was the missing link in the patients’ treatment plan. In 1998 we had a physician, Dr. Scott Miles, approach the president of the rehabilitation company that I worked for and request that they train a women’s health physical therapist. This was my opportunity and I took my first course with Kathe Wallace, PT. I remember thinking that she was a wealth of knowledge and her enthusiasm allowed me to get over the trepidation of performing pelvic examinations. She allowed me to focus on the examination process itself, how to apply critical thinking to the patient symptoms and evaluation findings, and how to pick the appropriate treatments. I was hooked! I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to participate in several continuing education courses all over the country from so many very talented Pelvic Health Practitioners and each and every one of them have inspired me in some way to continue to learn and perfect my skills as a pelvic practitioner.
What patient population do you find most rewarding in treating and why?
I truly enjoy treating patients who have a diagnosis of pelvic pain. There are so many different types of pelvic pain and the complexity of the cases fascinate me. I thrive on working together as a team with my client to identify the issues at the root of their pain. There are no two pelvic pain patients who are alike which allows me to create an individualized plan for each patient. It is always very rewarding when a patient who has been suffering with pain for years meets their therapy goals, has the knowledge to self treat, and can complete ADLs and work functions, all being done without pain limiting them.
What role do you see pelvic health playing in general well-being?
Pelvic health affects women and men across the life span. The core musculature must activate correctly in order to maintain function. I continually explain to my patients that the pelvis is similar to the foundation of a house. If the foundation is not laid correctly in a house, the doors and windows don’t open and close as they should and the floors will not be level. In the pelvis if the alignment is not correct, the musculature and ligamentous systems cannot function optimally which leads to injury, pain, and an overall decrease in function over time. Pelvic health should be addressed on the medical history portion of the intake paperwork for all patients who attend physical therapy. If the medical history identifies potential issues with pelvic health, a referral should be made to a qualified pelvic practitioner.
What motivated you to earn PRPC?
I think it is critical in today’s market to be able to identify yourself as a practitioner who has taken the time and made the effort to truly understand such a complex area of the human body. Several years ago when Women’s Health became the hot topic, I noticed there were several hospitals and therapy companies that were sending Physical Therapists to one course and then marketing that they had a Women’s Health program. Unfortunately, this issue continues today and there are so many women and medical practitioners who feel that pelvic rehabilitation is a waste of time and money due to the poor outcomes they have had while under the care of unqualified pelvic practitioners. There are many days in my practice that I evaluate patients who on average have seen 10 different physicians and two pelvic practitioners and still have experienced little to no relief of their symptoms. I feel earning PRPC allows medical practitioners and potential clients feel more confident in my skill set.
Learn more about Amy Robinson, PT, PRPC, CLT at her Certified Pelvic Rehabilitation Practitioner bio page. You can also learn more about the Pelvic Rehabilitation Practitioner Certification at www.hermanwallace.com/certification.