Monthly Archives: June 2013

Prostate Cancer Resources


Fellas, The Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia has some amazing resources for you after a prostatectomy (or if you’re just trying to educate yourself on what to do following the diagnosis of prostate cancer). Check out their website for amazing access to personal organizers and other useful tools to reduce the impact of living with cancer.

Jenna Sires PT, DPT

App of The Week

All you therapists, check out this great app that can help to educate your patients on pelvic organ prolapse (POP)…



The POP-Q Program can help transform each patient’s understanding of her disease state, facilitating a
more informed discussion about treatment options.

Since when did incontinence become fashionable?

Sue Croft excellently documents a common misconception about urinary leaking during exercise. Check it out, and let us know what your thoughts are!

sue croft physiotherapist blog

I want to show you something truly reprehensible. Click on this link and watch a YouTube video with a bronzed TV type interviewing a bunch of very fit looking women – asking them “Do you pee when you do Crossfit?”  Initially the girls are reluctant to talk about it but then momentum builds and before we know it seems hilarious, only natural and yes almost fashionable to be doing it. And what’s more it’s sort of endorsed by a FEMALE GYNAECOLOGIST – yes shouty capitalsare necessary here to make the point that her endorsement of this being acceptable is wrong, disgusting, outrageous and truly lacking in her duty of care as a medical practitioner.

It is very apt that I came across this video via an email from our Women’s Health Network in Queensland in this particular week – on the cusp of World Continence Awareness Week.  Yes…

View original post 495 more words

App of The Week

Yoga Free is a free app for those who seek perfect balance of mind and body!
Professionally made content, photo, audio and video guidance, coupled with convenient grouping of poses according to their level and type, will turn your yoga routine into an inspiring journey to the depths of inner peace.

The training mode is highly enjoyable and relaxing: voice instructions, videos, and special tunes will make you fly through your session!


  • Listen to music as you workout
  • Design your own program
  • Detailed instructions and photos of poses.
  • All poses are conveniently grouped according to level and type
  • Got a call or received an SMS during your workout? No worries! The app will automatically pick up right where you left off.



Congratulations to our very own, Jessica Powley, who just found out that she passed her Women’s Health Specialist examination! She is officially Jessica Powley PT, DPT, WCS.

A Women’s Health Clinical Specialist (WCS) is a licensed physical therapist who:

  • Has proven they have the knowledge, skill, and experience exceeding that of the physical therapist at entry to the profession and unique to the area of women’s health practice by successfully passing the Women’s Health Clinical Specialist Examination
  • Is certified in Women’s Health Physical Therapy by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS)
  • Has completed a minimum of 2000 hours of women’s health clinical practice, 25% of which has been in the last 3 years OR has successfully completed an APTA-credentialed post  professional clinical residency that has a curriculum plan reflective of the Description of Specialty Practice: Women’s Health Physical Therapy (DSP).


Therapist Spotlight

Jessica Powley


Why did you decide to specialize in Pelvic PT?

It really wasn’t a decision as much as I just sort of fell into it. When I was working on my doctorate at Duke University, we had the opportunity to select clinics to rotate with, and I didn’t really know what area I wanted to go in. I ended up selecting an orthopedic, neurological as well as Women’s/Pelvic health rotation with the thought that it would make me “well-rounded.” At that time, I had no idea that I would be blessed by working with Darla Cathcart, PT, DPT, WCS, CLT (one of the best Pelvic PTs in the nation, in my own unbiased opinion) and had absolutely no idea that I would fall head over heels with Pelvic PT…but that’s what happened. I loved the patients. I loved helping people with problems that can be extremely life-impacting. I found that the more I learned, the more I wanted to know… and that is when I knew that this was the specialty for me.

What is one of your most memorable patient experiences?

All of our patients are special, and I truly think I have been taught by each and every one of them. However, I do remember very clearly one of the first patients I ever treated, as she marked for me the turning point from “I may want to sort of do Pelvic PT” to “I definitely am specializing in Pelvic PT.” She was a wonderful 28-year-old female referred to our clinic for dyspareunia (pain during sexual intercourse). She had been experiencing pain since her first sexual encounter and had actually had several relationships end over that issue. She was the first patient I had worked with who had this diagnosis, and I was shocked at how quickly she improved. Within a few weeks, she was able to have sex with her partner without pain, and I clearly remember her sitting in our office with tears in her eyes telling us how happy she was. That was such a powerful and impacting moment for me, and I realized at that point that I needed to help more men and women just like her.

Is there anything that surprises you?

I joke with my patients that not much they could say would surprise me :), but on a more serious note, I am constantly surprised at the ability of my patients to rise above difficult circumstances to truly impact the lives of others. I have seen people experience tragedy and pull through to the other side, and that is inspirational and encouraging. Part of what I love about my job is the relationship I can form with each and every patient I treat. Those relationships are what push me to become the best therapist I can be so that I can truly impact the lives of my patients for the better.

What do you see, or what would you like to see, in regards to pelvic PT?

My patients always ask me, “Is this a new treatment?” and the sad answer to that is no. Pelvic PT has been around for a long time (over 100 years!), but so many people do not even know it exists! I was one of those people before I went into physical therapy, and I wish that was not the case. I would love to see Pelvic physical therapists become more active in advocating for our profession and advocating for the health of our patients! I would love to see patients start seeking out pelvic PT as a treatment when they need it so they can get the help they need sooner rather than later!

If you could provide someone with just one piece of advice in regards to pelvic health, what would it be?

My biggest piece of advice would be, “Listen to your body!” Our bodies are fascinating and wonderfully made! We are given cues all of the time when something doesn’t seem to be working properly, and it is important to pay attention to those cues and nip them in the bud! Many times, my patients will tell me that they have been leaking urine for YEARS, or having pain during sexual intercourse for YEARS, or experiencing constipation for YEARS…and that is not okay! Talk to your doctors about the problems you are experiencing…talk to one of us about the problems you are experiencing… talk to someone! Don’t settle for “common” problems…help is available and there are wonderful people (all of my colleagues!) who live to help YOU!

App of The Week

We all could use a little more R & R in our life! Check out this neat meditation app:


Zazen – Zen Meditation Timer and Mindfulness Bell

With this free app you can select meditation sessions up to 30 minutes, and use the start timer to delay in 10 second increments. Zazen includes pause and stop features, and 2 free chimes / bells to choose from. Also included is the mindfulness bell, which can be scheduled to play at specific times or “by the minute.”

IC Network Patient Teaching Points 2013


The IC Network recently published their 2013 teaching points (education and interventions) for people suffering with Interstitial Cystitis (IC). IC is defined as “an unpleasant sensation (pain, pressure, discomfort) perceived to be related to the urinary bladder, associated with lower urinary tract symptoms of more than six weeks duration in the absence of infection or identifiable causes”.

Among the many pages of education and resources, there are several key points to improve your quality of life and symptoms if you are diagnosed with IC. Here are just a few:

  • There is hope!
  • Diet modifications are a first line treatment! There are certain foods and drinks that can trigger bladder pain (a.k.a. bladder irritants).
  • Physical Therapy techniques should be used to “resolve pelvic, abdominal and/or hip muscular trigger points, lengthen muscle contractures and release painful scars or other connective tissue restrictions”. Know that Kegel exercises and exercises aimed at strengthening the pelvic floor ARE NOT RECOMMENDED. This is because Kegels actually increase muscular tension and do not facilitate muscle relaxation or lengthening (think about doing a biceps curl and seeing the muscle tighten and bulge).
  • Find a support group. There is such comfort in sharing life with other people who know exactly what you’re going through.


Therapist Spotlight

Sabina Weaver

Sabina Weaver MSPT, ATC

Why did you decide to specialize in Pelvic PT?

It kind of just happened that way. I was looking for a new job in 1998 after I had a great interview for a job. I wanted the job and really liked the hospital and wanted the job. The director then sent me to the Women’s Health Course in TN PF Level one, and after that course, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. It felt comfortable and I understood it:) Ever since I have been doing it and have loved it more and more!

What is one of your most memorable patient experiences?

Working with a patient who had dsyparuenia (painful penetration). Her biggest complaint was not being able to have intercourse with her husband. She had a 14 year old daughter and no other children. Afer about 4 visits, she was doing so much better. She did not have any pain and was so very happy. I was able to meet her husband who also was very happy of course. I did not see her for about a month or more and I began to wonder what happened to her. When I called her, she stated, “I have not been able to come back. It’s yours and the doctor’s fault.” I began to question her, and she said, “I am pregnant!!!” She appeared very shocked and happy at the same time. I was laughing on the other she was telling me. I told her I did not recall if that was a goal of hers. She said it wasn’t, but it just happened after they began to enjoy having intercourse, they just had it everyday..not thinking what would happen as a result of it:) She then after 14 years was going to have a another baby!!!!

Is there anything that surprises you?

Even after so many years of doing women’s health/pelvic floor, it still surprises me how well patients do so QUICKLY!!! We are able to see results so fast, and it is so fantastic to see them smile and able to be so much more better in so many different ways!

What do you see, or what would you like to see, in regards to pelvic PT?

I would love to explore other countries in regards to pelvic floor function. Some interesting facts for me to learn would be: 1) How do women in China take care of their pelvic floor? 2) What do women in India or Arab countries know about pelvic floor?

If you could provide someone with just one piece of advice in regards to pelvic health, what would it be?

One thing is hard to tell people but a few points are: 1) Watch your weight, eat good, drink the right things!!! 2) Have good posture always and use good body mechanics- avoid bending over so much! 3) Squeeze those muscles and make them work for you!!!!!!!!!

App of The Week

Women’s Health

WH app pic

This useful app discusses the most important health topics for women and is ideal for all medical professionals, medical residents and interns, nurses, medical students, and of course curious lay people who just want to learn more about women’s health.

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