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About the author, Dr. Deborah Riczo

Early on Women’s Health advocate

Shortly after graduating with my physical therapy license in the early ‘80s from Cleveland State University, I became an advocate for women’s health. While working full-time at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio, I started my first entrepreneur business along with my colleagues. Long before it became an accepted practice, we dedicated ourselves to providing healthy, safe exercise for women during pregnancy and in the postpartum period. We were recognized for our work and presented at the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) national conference on the topic.

During this time, I was working part-time in the hospital clinic, working on my Master’s in Education, also at Cleveland State University and having two children. I became acutely aware of the problems of sacroiliac pain/pelvic girdle pain in this population. As we know, it often starts during pregnancy or postpartum and can continue thereafter.

I went back to school for my doctorate in physical therapy in 2007 at Marymount University. As my “capstone” project, I chose to further investigate the exercise approaches I was using successfully in the clinic and compare them to the literature. My reputation with the physicians and my colleagues for treating sacroiliac pain continued to grow.

Riczo Health Education founded in 2011

My goals were, and still are, to:

  • Provide consumer health education, especially in the areas of:
    • Sacroiliac pain
    • Pregnancy and postpartum
    • Breast cancer
    • Health and wellness
  • Provide high-quality continuing education courses to health professionals
  • Provide dynamic presentations on a variety of healthcare topics to consumer groups
  • Provide experienced consulting to healthcare organizations and consumers

After more than 30 years as a practicing physical therapist at MetroHealth Medical Center, I retired in 2016 and am now focused exclusively on Riczo Health Education. It has been a wonderful journey, and I’m excited to continue branching out to create the largest ripple effect that I can!

Health Education continues by authoring book 2018

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) vision for the physical therapy profession is fabulous and I am definitely on board with it.   “The physical therapy profession will transform society by optimizing movement for all people of all ages to improve the human experience.”  I decided the best way for me to reach the most people with a non-pharmaceutical, non-surgical approach was to write a book, which I did.   Sacroiliac Pain: Understanding the Pelvic Girdle Musculoskeletal MethodSM is a book based on a method that I developed and have been teaching to therapists since 2011. I partnered with the APTA’s Section on Women’s Health in 2016 to teach a two-day continuing education course to physical therapists, “Simplifying Sacroiliac Dysfunction,” also based on the Pelvic Girdle Musculoskeletal Method.

Ultimately, I wrote the book to reach out to those who are dealing with sacroiliac pain for either of two reasons; they have not sought medical help due to insurance reasons, or they have sought help but are still dealing with pain. The book is especially written for those being treated for sacroiliac pain with opioids or for those who are contemplating surgery. Of course, the book will not help everyone, as medical, psychological, spiritual, social, occupational and environmental situations all vary from person to person. However, in my experience as a practicing physical therapist, the Pelvic Girdle Musculoskeletal MethodSM is a very successful, cost-effective approach. I believe that the average person can pick up this book and benefit from it in some way, as it is holistic in its approach. Hope, belief and mindfulness are key, as well as movement and exercise. And of course, adherence!

The book Sacroiliac Pain is designed to help improve muscle imbalances and weakness by providing a simple approach. It begins with a background on recognizing sacroiliac pain; its common causes as well as muscles, joints and ligaments that are often involved. Additionally, the reader is made aware of how pain and fear of movement can result in decreased function and increased pain.

The section dedicated to the Pelvic Girdle Musculoskeletal MethodSM provides step-by-step instructions for the exercises with supporting video links. We added the online videos as a convenient, visual way to help the reader understand the correct way to execute the movements.

In addition to the main exercises, we also included stretching exercises as well as instruction on breathing, which plays an important role in relaxation and pain management, along with mindfulness. Tips on beginning a walking program and progression to other forms of exercise are also included.

In the final section, the reader will find information regarding use of a sacroiliac belt and other frequently asked questions. An exercise planner is also included for logging workouts.

I hope that readers of this book who are struggling with sacroiliac pain find the tools they need for improving function, fitness and wellness. I’m optimistic that its approach will help to “optimize movement” and “improve the human experience” for many who read it.

To learn more about sacroiliac pain

To learn more about the book Sacroiliac Pain: Understanding the Pelvic Girdle Musculoskeletal MethodSM

Sacroiliac Pain, Understanding the Pelvic Girdle Musculoskeletal MethodSM is now available exclusively at OPTP.com, OR Amazon.com.  (Prime free shipping is available under other sellers).   FOR REVIEWS PLEASE SEE OPTP AND AMAZON WEBSITE LINKS.

To order go to OPTP.com, OR Amazon.com

 

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Sacroiliac Pain, what does it look like?

sacroiliac pain

Sacroiliac Pain is a type of Low back pain

Sacroiliac pain, sacral pain, sacroiliac dysfunction, SIJ pain, SI pain . . . these are all terms used to describe pain that is usually on one side of your body around your sacrum.  Unlike good old fashioned “low back” pain, this pain can change sides.  It can be in your buttock, hip and down the back of your thigh or even lower leg.  The pain can range from a dull ache to sharp and excruciating. You can also wake up and have a really good day . . . or a REALLY bad day.

Sacroiliac Pain can be debilitating

Not knowing whether you are going to have a good or bad day can make sacroiliac pain debilitating.   How do you plan your life when you do not know if you are going to have pain?  Can you host a birthday party, do a grocery shopping trip or even do your laundry on a particular day?  Will you “pay for it” the next day? By doing less than your “normal” you become weaker or debilitated.  All of this can cause a great deal of anxiety, fear and even depression.  Everyone handles stress differently.  Unfortunately this kind of stress can even affect your relationships as you may become more irritable and intolerant of things that would not have bothered you in the past.

Sacroiliac Pain can affect the way you move and what you can do

Simple things like getting up from a chair, climbing stairs and driving can be difficult.  Even sitting (without shifting to one side of your buttock) can be painful.  You may also find it painful to roll in bed, position yourself while lying down or to lie flat in bed.

What can you do about Sacroiliac Pain?

Of course you should see your doctor or physical therapist first. (Now in the United States you can see your physical therapist without a doctor referral, just be sure your insurance company will cover your costs if you do not see the doctor first).   Confirm your diagnosis and discuss his/her recommendations.  Be aware that the diagnosis of sacroiliac pain can often be missed, and if diagnosed there are many different approaches to treating it, ranging from pain medications, physical therapy, chiropracty, sacroiliac joint injection and surgery (involves using hardware to stabilize the joint).  Be wary of any opiod prescriptions for pain as this, as I am sure you are aware, can lead to addiction.

Conservative and holistic approach to sacroiliac pain

I have been a practicing physical therapist for over 35 years and have my doctorate degree in physical therapy and masters in education.   I developed a specific method to approach sacroiliac pain which I have been teaching to physical therapists across the country and students in doctor of physical therapy programs since 2011.  This entire approach is now available in a concise self-help book that you can use on your own or with the guidance of your physical therapist.

For a further description of the book

Order your copy of “Sacroiliac Pain, understanding the Pelvic Girdle Musculoskeletal MethodSM“now at OPTP.com, OR Amazon.com(Prime free shipping is available under other sellers).

FOR REVIEWS PLEASE SEE OPTP AND AMAZON WEBSITE LINKS.

 

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Back pain? It might be caused by your bra. . .

Back pain? It might be caused by your bra…

Millions of women suffer from back pain, and some conditions like osteoporosis and fibromyalgia are more common in women than men as a result of aging and other factors. Women can reduce their back pain by making a few adjustments to their wardrobe or paying closer attention to posture. Deborah Riczo, PT, DPT, MEd, of the MetroHealth Spine Center, offers a few tips women can follow to help ease the pain:
Women can reduce their back pain by making a few adjustments to their wardrobe or paying closer attention to posture.

Look at the type of shoes you are wearing.
They should have a good arch support and cushion to absorb shock that can travel from your feet up to your back. Avoid wearing flip flops or high heels and walking barefoot or in just socks if you are having back pain.

Wear a supportive bra (no stretchy thin straps).
This is especially important if you have large breasts and are already experiencing back pain. Good support will take the stress off your upper back and make it easier to stand with good posture.

Sit and stand so you have a natural curve in your low back.
The curves in our backs should not be too big or too small. When we slump our spine looks like a big “C,” which is not healthy for our spines. Good core muscles will help you maintain this natural curve with less effort. It will take practice to work on this. Choose a supportive chair to help you maintain good posture. Many different kinds of lumbar/back supports are available to purchase. It is a good idea to try them out so you know what is going to feel more supportive for you.

Bend your knees when picking something up from the ground, no matter how light it may be.
This reduces the stress on your low back muscles, and will actually strengthen your knees by bending them. Do not hold your breath, but exhale with the lifting. Breath-holding causes unnecessary pressure on your organs, circulation, and spine.

Mind your mattress or change how you sleep.
If you wake up in the morning with back pain that gets better as you move, think about your mattress. An old or too soft mattress can cause morning pain. You may want to have someone flip your mattress, or even try putting a board between the mattresses to make it firmer.
It also may be your sleeping position. Do not curl up tightly on your side as this rounds the lower back. Often a pillow between the knees will feel more comfortable when on your side, or a pillow under your knees when laying on your back.
If your back pain is persistent, it may be time to see a specialist. The MetroHealth Spine Center offers experts in rehabilitation, pain management as well as minimally invasive surgery.

Reprinted from the Physicians Newsletter. The MetroHealth System © 2002-2012. All Rights Reserved.