In our weekly feature section, Pelvic Rehab Report is proud to present this interview with Herman & Wallace instructor Peter Philip, PT, ScD, COMT, PRPC
How did you get started in pelvic rehab?
While treating an MD, OB-GYN, he asked me a question regarding a patient that he was treating that was suffering from dyspareunia. I’d just completed my Master's in orthopedic physical therapy and realized that there was an entire section of the body that was "full of muscles, ligaments and nerves” of which I had virtually no knowledge. This bothered me, so I began my own independent research, study and application of skills learned through continuing education, and application of what are typically considered to be ‘orthopedic’ techniques to the pelvic pain/dysfunction population. To my (continued) wonderment, the patients responded exceptionally well, and efficiently.
Who or what inspired you?
Dr. Russell Woodman and Dr. Holly Herman have provided me with the foundational skills and motivation to help and heal those patients suffering.
What have you found most rewarding in treating this patient population?
Many patients have suffered for years prior to ‘finding’ me. Many are despondent, and have given up hope for a cure; resigning themselves to a life of pain. Providing the means of restoring comfort and wellness is gratifying, rewarding and quite frankly, humbling. What an honor it is to help those that suffer regain the life that they thought they’ve lost.
What do you find more rewarding about teaching?
Having the opportunity to assist clinicians (MDs, PTs, DCs) more effectively, efficiently evaluate and treat their patients provides me with the same gratification that treating the patients myself. This, in addition to being able to help those that have not been helped attain their wellness and health they’ve been seeking, often for years.
What was it like the first time you taught a course to a group of therapists?
The first course I taught was in NYC. The air conditioning was broken, and the office had a few, small windows. The ambient temperature was upper nineties, and no breeze. Through the tortuous temperatures, and ‘first time jitters’ I persevered, and the staff were incredible hosts and provided me with guidance that I appreciate to this day!
What trends/changes are you finding in the field of pelvic rehab?
Manual medicine and non-surgical interventions are being more recognized as very viable means to address, and eliminate pain while improving biomechanics and function. Medical practitioners from all fields are consulting with specialists in the field of pelvic pain to better address their patients' suffering. We are at the forefront of interventional treatments, and patients are seeking effective means to eradicate their pain and dysfunction.
If you could get a message to all therapists about pelvic rehab, what would it be?
Review, re-read, re-learn all the anatomy, neuroanatomy, kinematics and never forget to think, think, think.