Changing the Narrative

Posted By: Margaret L. Mason Member Spotlight,

My decision to become a pelvic floor physical therapist was a natural progression for me in my healthcare career. As a proud spouse of an active-duty soldier, my physical therapy experience has taken me all over the country and around the world in nearly every setting and with every population. However, it was my passage into motherhood that ignited a deep passion for women's health and a strong desire to help individuals struggling with pelvic floor issues.

My journey began when I experienced firsthand the impact that pelvic floor disorders can have on my quality of life. I had tailbone pain during my first pregnancy, making it nearly impossible to sit. I was told it was a normal part of pregnancy and would go away after delivery, when in fact, it worsened. The final straw was when the OB looked at me and said “It’s not like physical therapy would do anything anyway”. Those words were the fuel that lit my passion into the world of women’s health, namely my pregnant and postpartum peers.

I began talking more with my mom friends and saw them struggling with urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, low back and hip pain, and other pelvic floor dysfunctions, and I knew that there had to be a way to make a difference in their lives. What struck me the most was the lack of awareness and resources available for individuals facing pelvic floor issues. Many people, including myself, suffered in silence. They were unaware that effective treatments and support were available. I knew that I wanted to be a part of changing this narrative.

As I delved deeper into the field of pelvic floor rehabilitation, I discovered the intricate connection between the pelvic floor and overall well-being. I learned about the physical, emotional, and psychological factors that contribute to pelvic floor dysfunction, and I became determined to provide holistic care to address these aspects. I particularly enjoy incorporating my background in ballet and Pilates into my treatment methods.

Becoming a pelvic floor physical therapist allowed me to combine my passion for women's health with my commitment to providing compassionate and excellent care. I wanted to create a supportive space where individuals could openly discuss their concerns, find answers to their questions, and receive evidence-based interventions. I wanted my mom friends to feel like their voices were being heard and valued. In my practice, I make my best effort to empower my patients by educating them about their bodies and their conditions. I believe that knowledge is power, and by understanding the intricacies of the pelvic floor, individuals can take an active role in their own healing journey. Few things make me happier than when a patient tells me they had the tools and knowledge to self-manage a flare up of their problem on their own outside of the clinic.

Working as a pelvic floor physical therapist is incredibly rewarding. I have had the privilege of witnessing the transformation of my patients as they regain control over their pelvic floor muscles, alleviate their symptoms, and reclaim their lives. Seeing relief on their faces and watching them return to activities they weren’t able to do previously is a constant reminder of why I chose this path.

I am committed to ongoing professional development and staying up to date with the latest research and treatment approaches. This ensures that I can provide the best possible care to my patients and offer them evidence-based interventions that are tailored to their unique needs. I could not do this without the high-quality education provided through the APTA Academy of Pelvic Health in addition to the wisdom, guidance, and support of my PT mentor.

Above all, I am grateful for the trust that my patients place in me. It is an honor and a great responsibility to be a part of their pelvic floor rehabilitation journey, and I am dedicated to backing them up and cheering them on every step of the way.

Author: Margaret Mason, PT, DPT

2023 CAPP PT/PTA Scholarship Recipient

Author Bio: Margaret is a physical therapist at Carolina Strong Physical Therapy in Southern Pines, North Carolina. In her free time, Maggie enjoys chasing after her two small children, hiking, and engaging in women’s ministry at her church.