Susan C. Clinton PT DScPT OCS WCS FAAOMPT
Location: Sewickley, PA
We are extremely honoured and thrilled to introduce our Physiotherapist Spotlight this month, Ms. Susan Clinton. Susan is an American colleague that has both inspired and challenged our growth as clinicians, and we are thrilled to call Susan our friend. Susan was honoured with the highest award in the Section of Women’s Health in the American Physical Therapy Association in 2016 with the bestowment of the Elizabeth Noble Award. A very deserving recipient, we are incredibly blessed to have Susan as a key part of our teaching team, including Gastrointestinal Disorders and the Pelvic Floor and The Pelvis and the Pelvic Floor: Assessing and Managing Connections From the Upper Cervical Spine to the Diaphragm. In the latter course, Susan takes all of the great work that Mary Massery has done and integrated it with her amazing orthopaedic skills as a FAAOMPT therapist to teach an amazing course that has challenged my practice and taught me to look at the whole system as it affects the pelvic floor. Congratulations Susan!! Thank you for all that you do.
– Carolyn and Nelly
How long have you been practicing pelvic health physiotherapy?
I have been practicing as a Physical Therapy for 36 years and I began working in the specialty of Pelvic Health for the last 21 years.
What lead you into the specialty of pelvic health?
I began my journey with Dr. Louis Wall – whom is the author of the modern day Urogynecology book. He brought me into his practice to teach me the medical side of his clinical work and then sent me out into the world to begin to understand the Physical Therapy side of pelvic health. In those days, there were very few classes and few articles, so much of my work began with textbooks, anatomy books and my clients.
What do you love most about your profession?
I absolutely have a passion for empowering individuals to learn to set and achieve their goals – whether it is continence or pain, everyone deserves the space and freedom to change and grow in their own lives. The ability to facilitate changes within the movement system is essential for changes in physiology to improve the quality of life.
Which course did you enjoy the most/what course has changed your clinical practice the most?
My practice is centered around the entire movement system and its effects on pelvic health – the clinical practice has evolved over the years and has been most impacted by Mary Massery and her course – If You Can’t Breathe, You Can’t Function. Breathing is primal to the human system and changing breathing patterns can be essential to improved pelvic health.
What has been your most rewarding experience?
Recognition by my peers for the 2016 Elizabeth Noble award for my service to the profession. I was very honoured to be the recipient of this award.
What advice would you provide to new physiotherapists getting started in pelvic health?
The field of pelvic health PT is growing by leaps and bounds and it is an exciting world that is acquiring its own body of knowledge and skilled practitioners. My advice to anyone beginning to work within this field is to gain access to a mentor either in person or by phone/skype. The ability to work through clinical reasoning and interventions is essential to improve and feel confident with this population.