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How to Find a Pelvic PT Near You!

Jan 17, 2024

 "How do I Find a Pelvic PT near me?"

This is a question I get often--"Dr. Kelly, how do I find a pelvic PT near me?" Let me tell you!

6 Easy Steps to Finding a Pelvic PT Near You!

 

1. Google "Pelvic PT/Pelvic Physio Near Me" (pick which verbiage fits with where you live)

Thank the Google Universe. This is a pretty good way to find anyone near you who lists Pelvic PT on their website. Which...if they are a pelvic physio, it should be on their website.

See if there is one close to you...then do a bit more research!!

 

2. Check the Pelvic PTs Credentials

At minimum, the website should have a list of their qualifications, trainings and services offered. Check specifically to see if they have been trained in internal pelvic floor muscle assessment. External and biofeedback only is okay, but it's nice to have a therapist trained to assess 'all of you', especially when you're ready to get your life back!

Additional checks can be to see if they have additional letters after their name, or listed in their bio.

Having these letters does not mean everything. Yes, therapists can be amazing Pelvic PTs without any of these letters…but if you are picking a Pelvic PT without personal references, knowing what credentials they have can help. Credentials of specific interest are: 

  • Orthopedic Certified Specialist (OCS): Offered through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists, this speciality is offered to a Physical Therapist who has done additional training, and completed an extensive application and passed a rigorous certification exam that ensures that they are up to date on the most recent evidence for obtaining an accurate diagnosis, prognosis and treatment plan for your pain complaint in the general joints of the body.  
  • Women’s Health Certified Specialist (WCS): Also offered through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists, this specialty designates that the bearer has completed an extensive qualification and passed a rigorous exam assessing their knowledge of the most up to date evidence on diagnosis, prognosis and treatment for Pelvic Health and Gender Specific Issues of ALL genders (it will likely be renamed Pelvic Health Specialist in the near future–as of 2022, the test includes specific evidence on pelvic conditions of people with penises AND vaginas).  Someone who holds a WCS has extra experience not only in pelvic floor health, but also overall hormonal health (osteoporosis, etc), as well as male issues (prostatectomy, erectile dysfunction, etc). 
  • Pelvic Rehab Practitioner Certification (PRPC) offered through Herman & Wallace Pelvic Rehab Institute.  It has an in depth application and examination process, similar to WCS, with the main distinguishing factor being that the PRPC is specifically pelvic focused, whereas the WCS is whole body (ie, WCS includes breast cancer, lymphatics, etc).  
  • Manual Lymphatic Drainage Certification (MLD): This practitioner has performed additional training in manual treatments for lymphedema.  This certification is especially useful for individuals post cancer care, and post lymphedema or lipedema.   

 

3. Check the Pelvic PT’s Website and Socials

Back to the website–did you like it?  Do they have social media?  Does it make you excited to meet the person?  Does their experience seem to fit with your history, your wants and needs?

Remember, in Pelvic PT (& in life), we are choosing the coach, almost more than the service itself. It's 100% okay to be picky when it comes to your pelvis!! You deserve who feels best for you!! 

If you were so inclined, you can take the social media search one step further, and if you have a community Facebook or Instagram page, ask candidly on that page, "Hey, this is Kelly--I'm having some pee problems/poop problems/problems "down there"/after baby.  Has anyone gone to Pelvic PT?  Where did you go? Did you like them?"  If the page is active, you'll get lots of responses that might be helpful to you!

 

4. Talk to your medical provider, and friends!

Useful if you have more than one option, and don't know who to pick.

Also good to decide if you will stay local, or travel, for pelvic care. 

Your friends, or medical providers, may have pelvic health practitioners that they regularly work with, and they can guide you in choosing one who is a good fit for you.

 

5. Don't forget the financials!

Also, what is the financial situation with this provider? Are they cash-based, or do they accept insurance?  If insurance, how much will it cost for you to see them?  Do they have in person or online visits? Available visits for when you need PT?

Asking those questions can ensure that you are actually a good fit with the Pelvic PT of your dreams. 

And if the price seems intimidating....TALK TO THE Pelvic PT, or their staff.  Insurance (especially in the USA) is weird. Sometimes, if you have a $3K deductible, it is actually cheaper to go to the 'creme-de-la-creme' cash-based PT, who will get you better in 4 visits over 3 months, rather than the "general ortho PT who did one online pelvic class" who will see you for 12 visits over 3 months with minimal gains.

 

6. Check Professional Website

  1. The Herman Wallace Institute has a Find a Pelvic Practitioner site. There is a list of all Pelvic PTs who have registered, as well as Practitioners who have achieved a Pelvic Rehab Practitioner Certificate (a test of pelvic floor specific manual therapy and interventions for specifically the pelvic region).
  2. www.apta.org, then "Menu" then "Find a PT." From here, you can select "Practice Focus: Pelvic Health" OR Board Certified Specialist "Women's Health" (PS, I imagine in the future this will become Pelvic Health...but for now, it's "women's". People with penises, rest assured that if someone has a Board Certification from the APTA in "women's health" that it actually did include many penis things, from erectile dysfunction, to premature ejaculation, to prostatectomy care.)

This searches are cool options, but they does limit you to providers that are members of the Herman Wallace Institute or the American Physical Therapy Association (which is not all PTs). I humbly believe that PTs that are members of Herman Wallace or the APTA generally care deeply about their profession...or at least are willing to spend extra money to join and qualify for these organizations...so in general, being on one of those lists, is a plus.

That being said…you shouldn't rule out a PT just because they're not on these lists.  But IF you are searching, and it's between one who is a member, and one is isn't, I might be inclined to go the one who is a member. Personal opinion, please take it as that.

Back to that Board Certification!  If I don’t want to search through the PT’s website, is there an easy way to Search? 

OMG, YES! I’m glad you asked!  For the WCS certification, go to the Find a PT on apta.org checklist, and look for Find By Specialist.

You can enter Women's Health–enter the distance that you’re willing to travel (but remember, MANY specialists can now do telehealth…so geography is no longer the same limitation as it once was!!).

These are the 'creme de la creme' of Pelvic PTs, in general. Not only have they done >1000 hours of direct patient care, and they take the effort to belong to their professional organization, they have spent countless hours rigorously studying the newest evidence, then sitting for an extensive exam that surrounds all things in Women's Health, not just the pelvic floor.

Thanks for Reading! Here's your next steps!

Find that Pelvic PT near you!!

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Thanks for being here--I'm proud of you!!

XOXO

Dr. Kelly



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