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Finding a PT who can treat your Pelvic Floor is about to get Easier!

Posted Jan 15 2009 7:42pm

When I realized I needed to see a physical therapist to treat my pelvic floor dysfunction (pelvic floor tension myalgia with a touch of pudendal neuropathy), I searched far and wide to find “the one”—the PT that I believed I could trust with my recovery. I visited four different PTs before I found Julie Sarton, D.P.T. at UCI Medical Center. Since then Julie has gone about the business of saving my life.

For many women diagnosed with some form of pelvic floor musculoskeletal dysfunction, finding a PT who knows how to treat them is a major challenge. The main reason for this is that historically, there haven’t been many therapists who specialize in treating the pelvic floor. Locating the ones that actually know what they're doing has been like looking for that proverbial needle in the haystack. But, all of this is about to change!

That’s because the American Physical Therapy Association has just recently added “Women’s Health” as its newest area of specialist certification under the American Board of Physical Therapist Specialties. Consequently, PTs who want to receive this certification will have to take a grueling eight-hour examination to prove they are up to the task. The exam will be administered for the first time in 2009.

This will not only help create credibility for PTs, it will serve to standardize what a women’s health PT should know. It sounds like the exam itself will help ferret out the best and the brightest. Just to be allowed to take it, a therapist must have extensive experience and write up a formal case study that could be submitted as research in the APTA’s journal.

It's my feeling that once the exam becomes available, it will be a good idea for women diagnosed with pelvic floor dysfunction to seek out a PT who is a certified specialist through the APTA.

In the meantime, the APTA has already made it a bit easier for women to find PTs that at least classify themselves as having expertise in “Women’s Health.” Click here to find just such a PT in your area: Although the APTA allows PTs to choose more than one area of expertise, personally, I would only see a PT that practiced exclusively in the women’s health arena—the more time a PT spends treating pelvic floor dysfunction, the more experienced she will become.

Please log on tomorrow to read my post about whether your PT is “treating you right.” I’m spending more time than usual on this one because I think it’s super-important!

If you have a sec, please share any challenges you’ve had finding a PT that has been able to help your pelvic floor dysfunction…

Until soon,

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