For episode nine, we speak to Saskatoon-based physiotherapist, Juliet Sarjeant. Juliet has been specializing in pelvic health treatment through her own physiotherapy practice, as well as at Saskatoon City Hospital, for almost two decades. She has undertaken a great deal of continuing education in pelvic health and pelvic pain, and she has previously been the chair of the Women’s Health Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association.
During the episode, Juliet starts us off with a “Pain 101” – she breaks down the differences between acute versus chronic pain to provide a strong educational overview. With this, Juliet also introduces listeners to “pelvic pain” and the various systems involved that may be affected by the pelvic floor muscles (such as the bladder, bowels, and sexual organs).
Juliet explains the role physiotherapy has in pelvic health to combat chronic or actuate pelvic pain. She reinforces that YOU are the expert on your body, and the role a patient has in educating themselves and putting in the work to help overcome the pain they are dealing with. She also touches on the fear cycle, and the power of visualization and graded exposure therapy in overcoming chronic pain.
We learn throughout the episode that the pelvis, or pelvic pain in general, is not given a great deal of attention due to the sensitive nature of the area, and how there is often a misunderstanding by care providers not specialized in pelvic health about the variety of health improvements patients can have if they attend to their pelvic floor health.