Hi, I’m Dr. Katharine Cline!
I am a physical therapist working in pelvic health and I practice in Grand Rapids, Michigan at Purple Mountain Physical Therapy. I am a board certified clinical specialist in women’s health. I have also completed a pelvic rehabilitation certification encompassing pelvic health care for people of all genders and sexuality. I have taken extensive continuing education regarding the treatment of bowel and bladder dysfunction in children. Basically, I know a lot about what goes on in the pelvis and how it affects movement and overall health!
But, when I started my physical therapy doctorate degree at Grand Valley State University in 2014, I had no idea what was going on in the pelvis. I had just completed my undergraduate degree in Exercise Science from Indiana University. This included a rigorous background in chemistry, biology, psychology, anatomy, and physiology... but, the space between the navel and the thigh had largely been ignored!
It was not until after graduate school, when I was taking continuing education courses in pelvic health, that I began to understand the pelvic floor and its massive impact on bowel, bladder, and sexual function. Access to high quality information about how sex, peeing, pooping, and farting work should not be limited to people with a graduate degree. It is foundational knowledge for overall health and should be available to everyone!
As a clinician, I know that there are a lot of people out there who leak urine when they laugh, have painful poops, have a “small bladder”, have painful sex, are chronically constipated, and more. I treat these issues on a daily basis! But, I know there are a lot more people who never make it into physical therapy because of time or financial constraints. I also know there are even more people who never make it into physical therapy because they don’t know they have a problem or don’t know that there is anything that can be done to address it! There’s a lot of physical, mental, and emotional pain that goes along with issues in the pelvis. It can be really hard to talk to family and friends about your pooping problem! And sometimes it can be hard to know you have a problem BECAUSE no one is talking about it.
I am on a mission to make these conversations easier and more normal. We should all have a basic understanding of how our bodies function. For one reason or another peeing, pooping, and sex tend to either get glossed over or skipped entirely across all levels of education. My purpose with everything I do is to empower people of all ages, genders, and sexuality to understand how their bodies should function and to have the confidence to ask for help from a qualified professional if something isn’t working correctly.
In love and care,
Dr. Katharine Cline