Therapist explains pelvic health
Vicki Lukert, P.T., PRPC, recently earned professional certification as a pelvic rehabilitation practitioner. Lukert, a physical therapist at UF Health Rehab Center at Magnolia Parke, was one of the first people to achieve this certification in the U.S. — which covers pelvic health for both genders — since it was introduced. She has been the team leader of the UF Health Pelvic Floor Program since its inception in 2007. She was recently featured in the Herman & Wallace PelvicRehabilitation Institute’s Pelvic Rehab Report. The following is an excerpt from her interview.
Visit UFHealth.org/pelvicfloor for more information about UF Health’s Pelvic Floor Program.
Describe your clinical practice.
I lead the UF Health Pelvic Floor Program’s rehabilitation team of seven therapists. We treat pelvic and abdominal conditions in women, men and chil
How did you get involved in the field of pelvic rehabilitation?
When I returned to the full-time workforce at UF Health, I was offered a position to “help” with the pelvic health program. When I found myself in charge of the program, I realized there was so much more for me to learn and I started taking additional coursework. As I gained experience and began making a difference in the lives of patients who thought there wasn’t any hope for them, I became very passionate about this incredible field of physical therapy. It’s really exciting to be a part of such an enthusiastic, knowledgeable and creative team.
What motivated you to earn your Pelvic Rehabilitation Practitioner Certification?
As a leader of the pelvic health program, it was important to me to be a role model for my team. The PRPC concentrates on “pelvic health” as opposed to “women’s health,” so it is an important certification as a pelvic health practitioner because it covers the pelvis in both genders. I waited for a long time for this certification to become available and I am very happy to have this accomplishment.
If you could get a message out to other physical therapists and medical providers about pelvic rehabilitation, what would it be?
Pelvic health is not a taboo area. It is just another area of the body that needs to be treated and — like any other area of the body — you must know the anatomy, function and dysfunction to treat the area effectively. The pelvic floor plays an important role in the full rehabilitation for many patients, including those with persistent back, sacral and hip problems. Medical practitioners should feel comfortable asking questions of their patients that would lead to an appropriate consultation with a pelvic health therapist.