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Specialist Spotlight: Dr. Bijal Toprani, PT, DPT

Specialist Spotlight: Dr. Bijal Toprani, PT, DPT - Attn:Grace

Welcome to our Specialist Spotlight Series. We launched our Resource Library because we wanted women everywhere to know that urinary incontinence is a treatable condition, and for them to be able to explore what specialists and treatments might be right for them. In this series, we highlight some of the incredible specialists within our Specialist Directory, and shine a light on the ways they’re helping women every day.

Introduce yourself!

I am a first generation Indian American. I was born and raised in Southern California, but moved to NYC in October 2020. I LOVE reading and pasta. I am a sister, aunt, girlfriend and spirituality-seeker.

Your Purpose and POV

What inspires you to do what you do [professionally] every day, and how did you end up focusing on this profession?

I began working in inpatient rehab with a lot of neuro and geriatric patients. I was really passionate about that population because the work we do is so based on function — walking, stair climbing, standing up and sitting down, etc. To me, all those things translate to improved quality of life. I then transitioned to orthopedics and have begun treating pelvic health patients, all with that same passion in mind — improving people’s quality of life.

What POV do you bring to your profession? What does your voice uniquely provide for women?

A safe space. I love helping people who have had less of a voice. Women historically have had less of that voice. I like to talk about the hard things, pregnancy, incontinence, discomfort with sex. TMI is not really in my vocabulary. I am sure you’ll notice that as a trend with other Pelvic Health PTs. I also really enjoy connecting the mind with the body — to remind people that while we try and improve our physical health, we cannot forget about our mental health. They are connected. 

What do you find resonates best/most with your audience?

Talking about bowel and bladder issues. This topic affects every human. Those are the topics that people reach out to me about the most.

Impact

When it comes to women’s health (and your specialty), where is there still “work to do”? Any myths to dispel? Misperceptions about treatments? Attitudes to change?

There is so much work to be done in the area of access and advocacy for post-natal care. The average number of prenatal visits a pregnant person goes to is ~15. The number of postpartum visits a person goes to is ~1. This sends the message that the birther is not as important as the baby and perpetuates the issue of mothers placing themselves on the back burner. Early intervention from a pelvic health physical therapist can reduce the chances of painful sex, incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, low back pain, pelvic pain, and SO much more. 

What advice would you give to women reading this when it comes to taking charge of their health/wellness?

Ask questions about your health and things that are concerning you. If you’re not sure something is “normal” ask a professional. You never know the areas of expertise out there that can help you. Also, if you go to a healthcare professional that you feel dismisses you, or doesn't give you the care you feel you deserve, get a second opinion. 

What’s the biggest “lesson learned” (personally or professionally) to come from living through a pandemic?

If you really want something, you can get it. Be resilient. Focus on your end goal and claw your way to it if you have to. If something is terrible, but it’s temporary, use that as your mantra: “This is temporary, I can do this for a month/week/year.” My relocation to NYC occurred during the pandemic. What I thought was going to be a 2-month job search turned into a 12-month job search. What I thought would be a full-time job in Manhattan turned into a part-time job in New Jersey. But now I am in a position I love and am no longer dealing with that commute. I used all those practices of resiliency, and passion, and clawing toward what I wanted as well as sprinkling in a ton of gratitude and “this too shall pass” to get to where I am. 

 

Learn More About Urinary Incontinence: 

Normalize This: Urinary Incontinence

Urinary Incontinence Treatments

Our Resource Library

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