Behind the Scenes of Pelvic Pearls

We are living in a very challenging time, one that has impacted every aspect of our lives and families, with much unknown still ahead. Many important services have been curtailed due to social distancing, including the work I do as a pelvic floor physical therapist. My daily schedule and ability to work with patients has changed significantly since March, yet I have tried to find the silver lining of this situation and utilize the extra time that I have been granted in a productive manner. While it is extremely tempting to binge watch Netflix, it is much more meaningful to spend time on professional projects that I have dreamed about but never had the opportunity to explore.

One of those projects is creating informational videos to educate the public about pelvic floor physical therapy. As a passionate pelvic floor physical therapist, I am grateful for the opportunity to share valuable knowledge and spread awareness of this extremely important specialty, especially considering that many people are needlessly suffering in silence. I enjoy giving lectures, blogging, and even answering questions that arise conversationally from curious friends. Knowledge is powerful, and the more that people know about their pelvic health, the better equipped they will be to address any issues that arise. That is why educating my patients about their conditions and instructing them on self care skills is one of my favorite parts of my job. I enjoy helping people understand the biology and physiology underlying their experiences, and I have found that it empowers them to take a more active role in their healing process.

Considering my thirst for both learning and dispensing knowledge, I have decided to shift gears and use the extra time to educate a larger audience. It is with great excitement and humility that I announce the recent launch of Pelvic Pearls. Pelvic Pearls is a YouTube channel which offers pearls of wisdom about pelvic floor physical therapy in short videos. Topics addressed include bladder dysfunction, bowel dysfunction, sexual dysfunction, pelvic pain, and prenatal and postpartum issues. This series is intended to educate and offer practical tips to listeners as well as explain how pelvic floor physical therapy can help address these conditions.

I am very grateful to my friend and colleague, Dr. Ivy Branin, for patiently teaching me how to create these videos, and I would also like to thank my roommates for allowing me to turn our apartment into a recording studio. I am also grateful to them for tolerating the constant sounds of “pastel slide short” introductory music that has been echoing through the rooms of our apartment incessantly. (One of them jokingly suggested that instead of a swear jar, our apartment should have a Pelvic Pearl music jar. Anyone who accidentally plays the song out loud owes money to the jar to be used by the other roommates as they please. #guilty)

Please subscribe today to access each and every Pelvic Pearl as they are posted. If there is a topic that interests you which has not been covered, please contact us and inform us what you would like us to address. We are here to help you in any way that we can during these trying times. Until we have the opportunity to meet and share knowledge in person, we look forward to continuing to do so with you virtually via Pelvic Pearls.

Lecture at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

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I recently had the opportunity to present a lecture on bowel dysfunction to the GI fellows at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.  This incredible opportunity afforded me the ability to educate budding new professionals at the beginning of their career on the benefits of pelvic floor physical therapy in relation to gastroenterology disorders.

The lecture focused on fecal incontinence and constipation as paradigms of underactive and overactive pelvic floor dysfunction, respectively.  It addressed the various components of a pelvic floor physical therapy initial evaluation, including food and fluid intake, toileting habits, and tests and measures.  It also explained the differences between treatment approaches for underactive versus overactive pelvic floor dysfunction.  The final section of the lecture focused on the benefits of biofeedback and how it can be utilized to educate patients on how to properly activate or release tension within the pelvic floor muscles, depending on the patient’s individual needs.

My personal favorite moment was at the end of the lecture, during the Q and A portion.  One of the fellows turned to me and remarked, “This information is so important!  Why don’t they teach us this in medical school?”  I responded, “I, know, RIGHT?!  But don’t worry.  If it makes you feel any better, they don’t teach this to us in physical therapy graduate school either.  My pelvic floor knowledge derives from continuing education courses and on-the-job training.”  And that is why I have made it my mission to share the wealth with as many physicians and laymen as possible.  The more informed we are in general about pelvic floor dysfunction, the more likely that those who need it will be properly diagnosed and referred for treatment in a timely manner.

For those of you who wish you could have been there to learn all about this fascinating topic, fear not and FOMO no more!  I have included the lecture in today’s blog post for your listening pleasure.  I hope you enjoy the lecture, and I encourage you to continue sharing the wealth with others.