From Doubt to Dedication: How I Found Purpose as a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist

Posted By: Mikaela Antonacci Member Spotlight,

The journey that led me to become a pelvic floor physical therapist was initiated by a sprained ankle and a period of physical therapy. Like many of my classmates, I was drawn to this profession after experiencing a sports injury as a child and realizing the impact therapists had on our recovery. However, it wasn't until my first semester of physical therapy school that I discovered the vastness of this field beyond orthopedic injuries, and I must admit, I felt overwhelmed. Learning about the various career paths available left me feeling lost and inadequate. It wasn't until my first clinical experience, where I encountered pelvic floor dysfunction, that I finally felt a sense of purpose and direction.

The path to becoming a pelvic floor physical therapist was a journey of self-discovery and a strong desire to address a specific healthcare need. During a 10-week clinical rotation, I had the privilege of treating patients with urinary incontinence, pelvic pain, bowel dysfunction, and other pelvic floor disorders. What I find most fulfilling about this specialization is the opportunity to help patients on a deeply personal and intimate level. I will always remember the joy I felt when a patient shared that they no longer experienced urine leakage when coughing or sneezing, as it transformed their life. Another memorable moment was when a patient reported a pain-free day for the first time in two years, and we both shed tears of happiness. These experiences have solidified my passion for pelvic health and have fueled my excitement as I embark on my career as a new graduate.

Moving forward, my ultimate goal is to raise awareness about pelvic floor health. By dedicating myself to this field, I aim to provide much-needed support, guidance, and treatment to those who often suffer silently. I am thrilled to see where this journey takes me and the positive impact I can make in the lives of my patients.

Author: Mikaela Antonacci, PT, DPT

Author Bio: I am recent graduate of the Bradley DPT program. Before DPT school I received my B.S. in Kinesiology with a minor in psychology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. I am passionate about pelvic floor physical therapy because I am able to help improve quality of life in patients on a more personal level.