Given what we now know of the role of the pelvic floor muscle network, it would make sense that dysfunction could vary widely in presentation and that the avenues for treatment equally as numerous. Direct dysfunction of these muscles can contribute to loss of bowel/bladder control, constipation, urinary and bowel urgency/frequency, pelvic pain, diminished sexual appreciation or pain with intercourse, pelvic organ prolapse, and lumbo-pelvic-hip control issues.


The genesis for this blog occurred after I attended a birthing preparation course taught by Ashley Brichter at Birth Smarter. This organization has virtual and in person childbirth education classes for expectant parents and professionals. Despite being 5 years removed from having children myself, I found the educational review helpful for my professional practice. It reminded me that understanding the anatomy of a vaginal childbirth can gift the expectant parent with tools to improve the birthing experience.


In a broad sense, I have been amazed at the continued support that the Thrive staff has provided and received since our physical closure. I find myself in regular communication with my patients, and am bolstered each time I hear from them. They have emailed me: recipes, educational websites for children, mindfulness apps, yoga flows to calm you down, yoga flows to pump you up, books for when you’re sad, books for when you’re happy, books for when you’re too tired to read hard books, podcasts, TED Talks, and no less than 50 assorted Netflix suggestions.


We at Thrive are so fortune to collaborate with many types of rehabilitation, exercise, and movement specialists in the New York City area.  Pilates has long been one of our staff’s preferred exercise tools, and we dearly love and appreciate the expertise of the staff at Mongoose Bodyworks, a Pilates studio that is neighbor to our clinic here in Soho. Over the years we have found our mutual clients achieve more success in movement, return to activity, and engagement in life when we collaborate, and the conversation below is an edited version of a dialogue between Mongoose Bodyworks owner Halle Clarke and Thrive PT staffer Elizabeth D’Annunzio Shah.   Halle: Hi!  When we decided to have a conversation, we talked about many areas of professional overlap.  There’s lots of crossover between what you and I do! Elizabeth: That’s right.  Ultimately, both PTs and Pilates instructors spend a fair amount of time doing movement analysis.  We’re both trying to enable multi-dimensional, pain free movement. Halle: In the spirit of that crossover, I have some questions for you that I thought might relate to both of our client populations.   Specifically, let’s talk about breathing.  How do you think about breathing as it […]


We at Thrive are ready to help meet the needs of pre and postpartum women and are launching a comprehensive rehabilitation and wellness program. We are looking forward to helping women stay strong and pain free during pregnancy, maintain safe exercise practices pre and post birth, and rehabilitate from injury. Our services will include a full musculoskeletal evaluation and examination for a wide variety of issues relevant to women.

Diastasis Recti Treatment: Emphasizing an Individualized Approach

There is no such thing as a one size fits all approach to diastasis recti (DRA) management. Just as no two persons are the same, no two DRAs are either. The separation of the linea alba often times reflects dysfunction, but what generates and perpetuates said dysfunction is different in all people. While this may seem obvious, many people come to me seeking a quick fix, or looking for the internet resource, book, or exercise DVD that will solve all their problems. While there are some wonderful resources out there, ultimately creating an individualized approach to DRA management based on the patient’s unique physical attributes, activity requirements, and goals is the best way to enable healing.

Lower Back Pain and the Case for Early PT Intervention

Hello friends.  It’s that time again…a new year!  With it comes the promise of new commitments, resolutions made for health and fitness, and renewed zeal and engagement in activity .  We at Thrive want to be part of your move towards greater activity, and are here as your musculoskeletal experts to answer questions, prepare you for sport, and help you heal aches and pains.   That said, I must warn you of a lurking impediment to your wellness.  You’ve guessed it, the NEW DEDUCTIBLE.  Spending time and money on your care is less appealing when it’s an out of pocket cost, and we are intimately familiar with financial stressors and the challenge to access care when it’s at your own expense. So, without further ado, I am going to make the case for coming to physical therapy (PT) early, and argue why it might save you money, lost time, and pain (both literal and figurative) on the back end.  For the purposes of discussion, we’ll focus on low back pain management. Anecdotally and empirically, back pain is one of the leading reasons persons come in to PT.  In addition to being difficult physically, emotionally, and financially on the individual, it’s can […]

What to Expect At Vestibular and Balance Physical Therapy

As a physical therapist that treats persons with dizziness and balance deficits, I’ve come to realize that people do not know what to expect when they attend physical therapy (PT) for these issues. Due to the lack of exposure to this treatment and unfamiliarity with how it works, people come to their first session with trepidation and fear. So, let’s see what I can do to clear up some of your queries and give a more clear vision of what will occur in PT. WHY DO PEOPLE GET DIZZY? There are so many reasons! As I’ve previously mentioned in an earlier blog post, some of the reasons are: • Inner ear dysfunction having to do with loose calcium deposits. This condition is called Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) • Nerve changes in the inner ear, often but not always associated with aging • Fluid imbalance in the inner ear, called Meniere’s Disease • Strokes in the part of the brain called the cerebellum • On rare occasion, tumors • Concussions Each of these issues requires a different management strategy. Some are movements meant to shoo the calcium deposits out of the canals, and others are aimed at getting your brain […]

Who Are Physical Therapists, What Do We Do, and How Are We Unique in the Medical Landscape?

Hello out there, Thrive loyalists.  To those of you who spend much time inside our clinic, you might find this blog topic odd given your familiarity with physical therapy.  That said, I have many times been asked, by persons I’m in process of evaluating, what IS physical therapy?  I grew up with a physical therapist (PT) as a mom, so for me the idea that one doesn’t know what we do is foreign.  I suppose I’ve always had proximity to the profession.  It has come to my attention that, while I’ve been in and around PT gyms forever, that’s not true for many.  So, I’m writing this to give some clarity to those out there who wonder what exactly we are qualified to do and how we fit into the wellness and rehabilitation realm. WHO ARE PHYSICAL THERAPISTS? PTs are, by and large, persons with a passion for PEOPLE, science, movement theory, rehabilitation, and often times exercise.  All PTs graduated in the past 10 years have clinical doctorates (DPTs), making them Doctors of Physical Therapy.  This means that, including clinical internships, PTs go to school for roughly 7 years.  Prior to making the DPT the entry-level degree, persons graduated with […]

Instagram Insider: Physical Therapy Session at Thrive PT

This week, on our Instagram, we followed along as Thrive PT Elizabeth D’Annunzio Shah, PT, DPT, OCS, MTC evaluated and treated our aide Katie in our SoHo clinic. Katie is a dancer and presents with hip pain when in the squat or single leg stance positions. We have assembled the Instagram story here for you so you can follow the journey from beginning to end and get a little behind the scenes look at what a physical therapy session is all about. Evaluations at Thrive are different for each patient, but always begin with an analysis of movement as related to the individual’s specific complaints. Below, her PT Elizabeth is observing her move, palpating the joint, and deciding what to look at next! A post shared by Thrive Integrated PT (@thriveptnyc) on Apr 18, 2017 at 7:59am PDT While dancing, Katie spends a lot of time in single leg stance.  In an effort to understand her right hip pain, Elizabeth looks at her in single leg stance, both with the right foot moving and right foot down.  She progresses from this parallel stance posture to single leg stance in first position.  It’s always necessary to look at the positions important […]