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How to know if your provider is legit.

Pelvic floor therapy is a trendy topic these days. Pelvic floor comes up on any social media platform. Yoga and Pilates instructors, personal trainers and fitness gurus are talking about the pelvic floor. It is wonderful that we are becoming more aware that a pelvic floor exists, that we can address issues with it, and that we are having conversations about it. However, as more information floods the internet and social media, and your local gym, it becomes even more important to screen the information and the person or group that is putting the information out there.  

As physical therapists, we receive specific training in pelvic floor-specific assessment & treatment. Unfortunately, not every PT or clinic that advertises this specialty has completed this specific set of courses. Many have not even taken an in-person course to practice treatments with an instructor.  Which is why it is important to be your own advocate and make sure the person you are going to see has adequate training and experience.

As a potential patient, it is always ok to ask about the provider’s training and experience. Have they taken one or several courses? Have they taken advanced boards or examinations certifying their knowledge in pelvic health diagnosis and treatments?  Is pelvic floor therapy covered in their practice act? A good and knowledgeable provider will NOT be offended by these questions. We are happy to answer them! Not every profession can complete internal pelvic floor assessments by their state licensing boards. Unfortunately, some professions do not even require they have any special training to perform a vaginal, rectal or genital exam! Search them on the internet, social media and see what reviews come up. See what their training is.

It is ok to ask questions and make sure that you are being treated by a qualified provider. 

When it comes to training for physical therapists, the gold standard courses are through the American Physical Therapy Association’s Academy of Pelvic Health or Herman and Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute. Both schools offer several different series of courses for all different skill levels of providers and cover many different diagnoses relating to pelvic health. They also both have certification examinations to show proficiency in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of people with pelvic floor dysfunction. The APTA has the Women’s Health Certified Specialist (WCS) and Herman and Wallace has the Pelvic Rehabilitation Practitioner Certification (PRPC).  

We take pride in the level of knowledge that the therapists at Foundational Concepts have. We take advanced level courses, mentor each other, and have rounds to learn about new diagnoses. We encourage therapists to prepare for and take the advanced examination and certifications. Currently, 5 of our therapists hold a certification from the APTA or Herman and Wallace Institute. All of our providers have taken multiple courses in pelvic floor rehabilitation as well. We want to know that we are all treating on the same high level and with the most current and best research. We provide a safe environment for every person we see.

If you are seeing a provider and things just don’t feel right or you are not sure about their experience level or training, it is always ok to stop the visit. Your instincts are valid and often the most accurate assessment of a situation. You are in charge of the visits and have the final say if you continue or you stop. You do not have to have a vaginal or rectal assessment and should not feel that you are being pressured into something you are not comfortable with.  This should always be explained thoroughly to you prior to any examination by a provider.

We offer a free, 15 minute phone consultation to answer any questions you may have and to ensure you feel comfortable and confident you are in the right place for your healing. To learn more about out providers, and their expertise, click HERE.

Sarah is the proud co-owner of Foundational Concepts, Specialty Physical Therapy which opened in March 2013. Sarah lectures at the University of Missouri Department of PT, University of Kansas Departments of PT and Nurse Midwifery, and at Rockhurst University Department of PT. She is board certified in Women’s Health PT and holds certifications in medical therapeutic yoga, lymphedema therapy and dry needling.

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