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.