An “Alternative” Treatment

I write, talk, blog, tweet and advocate for female pelvic and obstetric health issues. The fact that I do so with an unequivocal “Physical Therapy should be a part of all of this!!” is alternative in and of itself.

But physical therapy (PT, rehab) is not alternative, per se. It is a discipline considered integral in many other medical disciplines—physiatry, neurology and orthopedics are merely a few—which means that the PT component of care is crucial for aches, sprains, strokes, spinal cord injuries, ligament and muscle tears, and pre/post surgical recovery.

Our profession is the go-to group for how it all works, where “it all” equals all of the body’s systems and parts and how these work together—or don’t!—to create problems in and affecting ones function in day-to-day life. Even more eloquently stated, the World Confederation for Physical therapy states the following in response to the question “What is a Physical Therapist?”  “…advanced understanding of how the body moves and what keeps it from moving well, they promote wellness, mobility and independence.”

And so in acknowledgment of all of this, I marvel that the wholehearted embrace of physical therapy as a potent contributor to female pelvic and obstetric health remains largely “alternative.” Organizations such as American Urogynecologic Society have acknowledged the use of PT and its effectiveness in preventing and treating many pelvic floor dysfunction issues, but we have a long way to go. Clinging to kegels as the thing for pelvic health is archaic, making the case that the “alternative” PT approach of being comprehensive to the whole body is actually the way to go. It’s supported in the literature and clinical practice, and our goal with Share MayFlowers is to make sure women know that!

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