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Choosing to participate in physical therapy, or specialized (pelvic, obstetric, lymphedema) physical therapy, can seem like a daunting experience. Discussing personal and sensitive topics such as pelvic pain, along with bladder, bowel, and/or sexual concerns, can be difficult. Establishing open lines of communication with your physical therapist is essential for successful treatment. Knowing the right questions to ask can help you gain trust and determine if a particular therapist is a good fit for you. Consider asking the following questions to help make an informed decision when deciding on a healthcare provider.
What is Lymphedema? Lymphedema is a condition in which the lymphatic system of the body is unable to properly transport lymph fluid from the tissue spaces back to the blood stream, leading to swelling in the limbs, trunk, genitalia, head, neck, or anywhere there is lymphatic tissue. Protein-rich lymphatic fluid is different than typical edema or swelling and can only be drained by the lymphatic vessels. Because lymphedema is often mechanical in nature (meaning the structure of the lymphatic system is compromised), lymphedema is a life-long condition. Finding and addressing lymphedema early helps ensure faster, more successful outcomes. However, individuals with chronic lymphedema can also benefit significantly from physical therapy interventions. There is no cure, but the condition can be managed successfully.
Although laws in most states allow you to receive physical therapy services without a referral from a medical provider, some insurances require a referral for an evaluation and/or treatment. It is recommended you call your insurance company to verify their requirements as well as what your state laws allow before participating in therapy.
Every year, a group of graduating physical therapy students from Creighton University travel to the Dominican Republic (DR) to provide physical therapy services through the Institute for Latin American Concern (ILAC) in a variety of clinical settings, like hospitals, outpatient facilities, an orphanage, in campo (a rural village), and in individuals’ homes. The students provide treatment to their patients with mentorship from their clinical instructors and provide pro bono physical therapy clinics at the ILAC center multiple times per week. They also provide donated durable medical equipment to children and other patients who might not have known they would benefit from it or who may not have had access to it otherwise. This year, Creighton University sent two board certified women’s health clinical specialist physical therapists (PT) to the DR, Julie Peterson in February with a group of OBGYNs, and Jenna Iberle in April with the physical therapy students as a clinical instructor, in order to provide general and women’s health focused physical therapy to the people of the community.
Washington, District of Columbia, July 1, 2019 – The Section on Women’s Health (SoWH), an affiliated and independent arm of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), has announced the appointment of Aika Barzhaxynova, the SoWH’s Director of Marketing and Business Development, as Interim Executive Director following the departure of Tamela Blalock from SoWH’s management company, Interel. Tamela has served the association for the past two years and contributed to the development of the SoWH’s new strategic plan.
Please join the Section on Women's Health in congratulating the newly Board-Certified Clinical Specialists in Women's Health Physical Therapy, Class of 2019!
I plan to practice in women's health PT in the future and plan to use the Pelvic Health Physical Therapy Level 1 course and the Fundamental Topics of Pregnancy & Postpartum course in order to broaden my evaluation of my patient's pelvic floor muscles and therefore get them back to their desired functional activities. I really have learned to love the area of women's health in school and think this niche is a growing part of physical therapy that is so essential for women to thrive at their maximal potential in all areas of life. Because of this passion that I get when thinking about this niche, I have decided to gear my future plans in the direction of women's health.
My name is Carolyn Yates. I pursued a career in physical therapy because I thoroughly enjoy helping other people. I consider myself a natural caregiver and physical therapy was an easy decision. From caring for my friends during injuries or illness, to leading various sport teams as a captain or coach to taking care of young children, I always found myself gravitating towards helping others. I loved the idea of having a substantial amount of time with patients each week as opposed to the shorter amount of time that doctors and nurses get. I realized half of the draw to PT for me was that I would get to talk to my patients and make significant relationships and make significant impacts on people's lives. I love getting to know my patients. Personally, I am a very active person and think that trait also had an impact on my career path to physical therapy (PT). I've always been a passionate runner and nature lover. Getting to help other people reach their goals of being able to get back to their sport/activity of choice was a huge draw. Also, being able to relate with my patients about their trials and tribulations with being injured and desire to return to their activity/sport was a draw for me. Overall, I knew I wanted to be in a helping profession. I found PT through exploration of the helping medical fields and I am so happy I did. I truly feel blessed to have the job I do.