I am a Pelvic Health, Women’s Health & Orthopedic Physical Therapist who specializes in working with clients during pregnancy, postpartum and beyond the childbearing years. I am also a trained SomaticaⓇ Sex & Intimacy Coach.
I am a Marin County native who graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a Bachelors in Science in Biopsychology and a minor in Exercise Health and received a Masters in Science in Physical Therapy from UC San Francisco in 2007. I am a former long distance runner and now love my spin bike, hiking the hills in my neighborhood and exploring my ability to flow in a dance class. My passion of working with prenatal and postpartum bodies comes not only from my personal experiences of having my two kids but also from working with so many clients who have come to me over the years with various orthopedic discomforts and injuries which very likely could have been prevented if they had received postpartum rehabilitation early in their postpartum journey. I am passionate about providing my clients the kind of care we all deserve but are not getting in the conventional medical system. I am here to provide you the support and guidance you deserve to live your best life in your amazing body.
Office in San Rafael and Noe Valley, San Francisco.
Pain in Pregnancy
Many women have low back pain, pelvic pain or other areas of discomfort during pregnancy. These issues can be addressed with physical therapy and should not be accepted as normal pregnancy symptoms. Prenatal physical therapy will help you have a more comfortable pregnancy and improve your postpartum recovery.
Learn a safe and effective exercise program from a physical therapist who knows exactly what to do and what not to do. There is a lot of misinformation out there regarding prenatal exercise. What we know is that women should stay as active as possible, doing the right types of exercises to maintain core muscle activation, support the spine as the belly grows, prepare the abdominals and pelvic floor for the action of birth and improve postpartum recovery.
Orthopedic Pain & Injuries
With my background in orthopedic physical therapy I can treat any pain or injury in your muscles, bone, joints or nerves. I love to use my detective skills to figure out the components that are contributing to your complaints and design my treatment plan to address your pain and return you to your desired activities. Many times the pain and injuries that women are experiencing can be traced back to unresolved muscle imbalances, posture issues and body mechanics that have been present since she was newly postpartum. And often times a woman who is having musculoskeletal pain is also experiencing other symptoms such as incontinence, abdominal separations and/or prolapse. I can treat it all!!
Giving birth via a C-Section is a major surgery and proper care is needed to heal fully. The muscles that support your spine and pelvis have been through a trauma and deserve some TLC. Imagine if a professional athlete had a surgery that created tissue damage to the muscles that support the spine…..do you think he/she would be allowed back on the court/field without weeks of physical therapy?? Women who have a C-Section commonly report a more difficult time reactivating their abdominal muscles and these muscle can remain “asleep” if not addressed specifically, with the right type of exercises. Abdominal separations in subsequent pregnancies are also more common in women who had a prior C-Section and this can be prevented with proper rehab after birth and before another pregnancy. Your body deserves some TLC momma!!
Vaginal Birth Rehabilitation
As you know, your body went through an intense experience that effected your pelvic floor, abdominals and even your upper back and neck! Your body deserves some special care to fully heal so you can take care of your baby and kids. A vaginal birth stretches the pelvic floor muscles and it is common for women to experience results of this in the form of pelvic floor weakness, incontinence, prolapse and pelvic floor pain. Physical therapy with a women’s health PT can help you return your pelvic floor to the supple trampoline that it needs to be to stabilize your pelvis and spine. We will address your abdominals as well of course!!
Abdominal Separation (Diastasis Recti)
The abdominal muscles commonly separate at the end of pregnancy to accommodate your growing belly. Once you give birth, this separation should narrow as your tissue heals. For many women, the separation does not fully resolve by 6-8 weeks postpartum and can contribute to pain anywhere in the body, impaired abdominal muscle function, persistent abdominal bulging and incontinence. Physical therapy can help you heal your Diastasis and give your body the stabilization it needs. The sooner you address your diastasis, the better but we can make a difference even if yours has been around for years.
Urinary incontinence (UI) is the involuntary leakage of urine. Stress UI is the loss of urine that occurs with loading types of activities such as running, coughing, laughing or jumping. Urge Incontinence is when leakage occurs with a sudden urge to go to the bathroom. Both types of UI can be paired with urinary frequency, which is when a woman is urinating than once every 2-3 hours. UI is due to poor coordination in the pelvic floor muscles. Muscles may be too weak and cannot properly activate to stop the leakage. Leakage may also occur when the pelvic floor muscles are too active or too tight and they cannot function efficiently to prevent leaks. While UI is common, it is not normal and is a sign of pelvic floor dysfunction. Physical therapy can treat all types of UI with specific exercises and pelvic floor manual techniques.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Prolapse is when one or multiple of the pelvic organs descents into the vaginal canal. Cystocele is a bladder prolapse, rectocele is a rectum prolapse and there is a uterine prolapse (which doesn’t get a fancy name). Symptoms of a prolapse include a heaviness felt in the pelvic floor, a sensation of a ball sitting low in the vagina, incontinence, inability to fully empty bladder or bowel, pelvic pain and back pain. Physical therapy can help improve the pelvic floor’s ability to support these organs.
Pelvic pain is referring to pain that is experienced in the pelvic floor, external genitalia, low back, tailbone, inside the vagina or inside the rectum. Someone with pelvic pain may have pain with penetration, inability to use a tampon, inability to tolerate a speculum exam, pain with sitting, pain with tight clothing and pain with certain physical activities that load the pelvic floor.