Podcast: Vocology & Gynecology – The Voice & The Pelvic Floor

In this interview, Kathe speaks with Dr. Aliza Rudavsky about her background in voice physical therapy and current focus on glottis, breathing and pelvic floor functions. The conversation is lively and informative. Enjoy!

A bit of background: vocology is voice habilitation: maintaining and enhancing vocal skills and knowledge of the voice. For the pelvic health therapist working with labor and delivery, there is certainly an interest in open glottis positioning during the pushing phase (Barasinski 2016). There is also a growing interest in the use of the voice for pelvic floor activation (Bedekar 2012). There is still a lot to learn and understand about voice, intra-abdominal pressure and the rehabilitation of the pelvic floor. Aliza’s research is a start to understanding this process. 

A recent publication regarding the role of the pelvic floor in respiration by Gordon and Reed in the Journal of Voice highlights a need for collaboration between voice specialists and pelvic health specialists. There are many relationships between the larynx and the pelvic floor. Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) know the larynx (voice specialists) where pelvic health physical therapists really know the pelvic floor. We are just starting to see the cross-pollination of professions.

About Aliza Rudavsky, DPT, PhD

Dr. Rudavsky is a physical therapist and researcher with a clinical DPT degree from the University of Washington and a Ph.D from the University of Copenhagen.  She received specialized training in treating voice dysfunction in Melbourne, Australia from the pioneer of Vocal Unloading, Annie Strauch. In Australia,as part of her clinical practice, Dr. Rudavsky treated performing artists backstage for touring musical theatre productions as well as other occupational voice users. She has been working with a multidisciplinary team of health professionals to treat voice dysfunction for the past five years and is currently the on-site physical therapist for the musical theatre and theatre students at Penn State University. Additionally, she treats women with pelvic floor problems in a private practice in State College, PA.

Dr. Rudavsky was awarded a Pelvic Health Research Grant from the Foundation for Physical Therapy Research. Her project is titled , “Concurrent Validity of Novel Transabdominal Pelvic Floor Ultrasound during Glottis Tasks.” Dr. Rudavsky plans on testing a new method of measuring transabdominal ultrasound imaging and comparing it to the gold standard transperineal method. She also pursues research related to the coordination of the glottis and pelvic floor muscles to regulate pressures within the trunk.

If you are a pelvic health therapist interested in continuing education regarding pelvic health, please see my Teaching page.

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