• hopeptlakewood.com

My career path, simplified

I have spent 25 years in out patient therapy specializing in pain and dysfunctions in the neck, back, pelvis, hips, and pelvic floor. I worked with amazing practitioners and mentors. After graduating from physical therapy school, I worked with patients injured on the job. I learned the importance of treating the whole body - a knee injury affects the function of the ankle and the hip, and eventually, the back; a back injury affects the hips, and knees; a shoulder injury affects the neck and head. We are all connected - that was my big lesson; that, as well as following the thread - knowing where to look first and where to look next because a "back injury never involves just the back".


After 7 years of treating worker's compensation patients, I specialized in pelvic floor dysfunctions, and learned how the pelvis and the pelvic muscles fit into the whole picture as well. I learned that most practioners were approaching pelvic floor dysfunctions from a geriatric or incontinence paradigm. My associate and I approached this area from an orthopedic/ neurological paradigm, which brought much more complicated cases into our office. Treating nerve compression injuries from bicycling, nerve traction injuries from labor/ delivery trauma, hip injuries, as well as pelvic joint dysfunctions, muscle spasms, gynecolocigal surgical trauma, led me into the fascinating and complex diagnosis and treatment of this problem. This is an area of transfer and balance: transfer because the great arteries/ veins, nerves, muscles all pass through this area as they move from the trunk to the legs; and balance because this is the center of our balance lies, and our muscles work the hardest to keep us balanced ( the hip muscles).


After 6 years studying the pelvic floor and combining this with my spine background, I moved to my next outpatient therapy clinic. This most recent clinic emphasized holistic treatment with a team approach. Here, I could really pull all that I learned together, while working with massage therapists, Yoga and Pilates based practitioners. I learned so much from these specialists, their different ways of approaching the same problem, how their skill sets added to my work, and how the patient outcome was so much better working as a team. I learned the advantages of team work in complicated cases, that no one discipline has all the answers but that all disciplines bring a new light to a problem. It is here that I learned more about the alternative medicines, and saw first hand how Chinese and Indian medical approaches also contribute so much to the whole problem. I learned that the meeting of Western and Eastern modalities is where the answer to our current complaints of our medical approach most likely lies.


Now in my own practice, I am able to put all these pieces together by developing a holistic, comprehensive approach to complicated cases that involve the head, neck, back, pelvis, hips, and the pelvis floor. Over the past 25 years, I have developed my own style of initial evaluations and holistic physical therapy treatments while encouraging a team approach to my clients.

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