Skip to main content

The multiple sexual abuse convictions of former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar brought an end to Nassar's monstrous behavior, increased awareness about systemic problems that allowed the abuse to occur, and hopefully even provided a certain sense of closure to the more than 150 victims of his assaults. But in an article written for the HuffPost, APTA member Lora "Lori" Mize, PT, DPT, and certified clinical specialist in women's health physical therapy, raised concern that the Nassar case also may create a ripple effect that could discourage individuals from seeking legitimate and responsibly delivered pelvic physical therapy.

In her opinion piece titled "Nassar's Atrocities Stigmatize A Legitimate Medical Treatment," Mize contrasts Nassar's horrific actions with the well-established, evidence-based pelvic physical therapist treatments "performed by a highly trained specialist [that] can have a positive impact on a woman's quality of life."

"It is my duty to women [in need of pelvic physical therapy] to ensure Nassar's abuse does not, in addition to all the other damage it has done, prevent others from getting the care they need," Mize writes. "It is critically important for women's health professionals to ensure the horror of the Nassar case does not feed public fear and misconceptions about pelvic [physical therapy] or stop women who need health care from walking through our doors."

"This is a powerful article," said Patricia Wolfe, PT, MS, president of APTA's Section on Women's Health. "Lori did an excellent job articulating the value of pelvic physical therapy and its significant impact on quality of life

Mize delivers the pelvic physical therapy message not only through an explanation of the relationship between pelvic floor muscles and their role in health, but also by way of examples from her own practice. She also clarifies what patients should expect from legitimate pelvic physical therapy treatment.

“As Lori pointed out, what’s needed is clear and accurate communication to the public to encourage and inform individuals about legitimate care," Wolfe said. "That includes care related to incontinence, sexual dysfunction, constipation, and abdominal and pelvic pain.”

"For women with pelvic floor disorders, it is difficult enough to battle the stigma, shame and guilt often associated with these conditions," Mize writes." Those of us who care for and care about the health of women and girls must not allow predators like Nassar to further victimize women by making them fear the very interventions that can improve and enrich their lives."

You Might Also Like...


APTA Continuing Competence Resources Help You Understand, Evaluate, and Advocate

May 15, 2024

A webpage devoted exclusively to continuing competence is helping the profession move toward a more unified concept.


Updated APTA Clinical Summary on Stroke Features Latest Information for Practice

May 10, 2024

The three-part resource covers the fundamentals of evaluations, interventions, and more based on high-quality evidence.


New Apps Approved — Just in Time for Women's Health Month

May 10, 2024

Apps dedicated to women's health are now offered in APTA's online digital health tools resource.