Physical therapist and APTA member Lora “Lori” Mize, PT, DPT, points to the need for patients to be educated on legitimate and responsibly delivered pelvic physical therapy in wake of the multiple sexual abuse convictions of former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, the APTA reports.
In an opinion piece written for The Huffington Post, Mize, director of education for the section on women’s health of the American Physical Therapy Association, shares her concerns that the Larry Nassar conviction may create a ripple effect that could discourage women from seeking pelvic physical therapy in the future.
To counter these concerns among potential patients, she writes that, in contrast to Nassar’s actions, such treatments, “performed by a highly trained specialist, can have a positive impact on a woman’s quality of life.”
“It is my duty to women [in need of pelvic physical therapy] to ensure Nassar’s abuse does not, in addition to all the other damage it has done, prevent others from getting the care they need,” Mize continues in the article.
“It is critically important for women’s health professionals to ensure the horror of the Nassar case does not feed public fear and misconceptions about pelvic [physical therapy] or stop women who need health care from walking through our doors.”
Patricia Wolfe, PT, MS, president of APTA’s Section on Women’s Health, concurs, per the APTA report.
“As Lori pointed out, what’s needed is clear and accurate communication to the public to encourage and inform individuals about legitimate care,” Wolfe says. “That includes care related to incontinence, sexual dysfunction, constipation, and abdominal and pelvic pain.”
“For women with pelvic floor disorders, it is difficult enough to battle the stigma, shame, and guilt often associated with these conditions,” Mize concludes. “Those of us who care for and care about the health of women and girls must not allow predators like Nassar to further victimize women by making them fear the very interventions that can improve and enrich their lives.”
For more information, Mize is also quoted in this article from The New York Times.