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Dr. Allyson Augusta Shrikhande

Beyond Medicine: Dr. Allyson Augusta Shrikhande’s Impact on Pelvic Rehabilitation

Embarking on a mission to redefine the landscape of pelvic pain care, Dr. Ally Augusta Shrikhande, MD, serves as the Co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of Pelvic Rehabilitation Medicine (PRM). Dr. Ally is a leading expert, pioneering a unique outpatient non-operative protocol in pelvic pain care. The PRM Protocol not only alleviates pain and restores pelvic function but also drastically diminishes the need for surgery, opioids, and hormonal treatments to address pelvic pain and endometriosis symptoms.

With an illustrious background as a board-certified physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist, Dr. Ally is not just a practitioner, but a visionary dedicated to breaking the barriers that surround pelvic pain. Through PRM, she channels her expertise into a comprehensive approach, addressing musculoskeletal disorders, pain management and women’s health. A strong advocate for clinical research, Dr. Ally brings a wealth of experience to the table.

Beyond medical prowess, Dr. Ally’s mission is deeply personal. She seeks to amplify access to diagnosis and treatment for individuals who have long been dismissed and forced to endure the silent suffering of pelvic pain. In doing so, she is not only transforming healthcare practices but has also become a beacon of hope for those navigating the intricate challenges of persistent pelvic pain.

Let’s explore Dr. Ally’s commitment to redefining the narrative of pelvic health and fostering a future where no one suffers in silence!

Unseen No More

Having personally experienced the isolating impact of persistent pelvic pain, Dr. Ally empathetically shares her journey, “After suffering from persistent pelvic pain myself, I was left feeling unseen by the healthcare system.” Motivated by this personal struggle, she pioneered a revolutionary protocol now utilized nationwide by PRM’s pelvic pain specialists. Dedicated to serving the often-overlooked chronic pelvic pain patients, she asserts, “a population that is often silent and silenced.”

As a physiatrist specializing in pelvic pain, Dr. Ally’s innovative approach diverges from traditional methods. Her treatment protocol doesn’t isolate a single organ system but delves into the intricate combination of pelvic organs, muscles and nerves. “I developed a treatment protocol that focuses not on a single organ system but on the interplay of the different organ systems in the pelvis,” she emphasizes. This approach ensures safety, comfort and efficacy.

Addressing the majority of PRM’s patients, women with conditions like endometriosis, Dr. Ally underscores the importance of safety, “I wanted it to be safer for women.” Her protocol eliminates the need for radiation, allowing patients to seamlessly integrate treatment into their daily lives.

PRM takes pride in being the sole national organization of pelvic pain specialists employing a groundbreaking ultrasound-guided approach. Dr. Ally proudly declares, “PRM is the only national organization of pelvic pain specialists that offers a unique and comprehensive ultrasound-guided approach to the pelvisthe first of its kind in the country.” Their commitment resonates, providing hope for those navigating the challenging terrain of chronic pelvic pain.

Innovating Relief

Dr. Ally, recognizing the prevalence of chronic pelvic pain affecting 15% of women, shares the silent suffering, “it is often misdiagnosed, overlooked and undertreated, leaving millions of women suffering without relief for years.” Drawing from her personal journey as a pelvic pain patient, she embarked on a mission to innovate, aiming for a procedure that is safer, more effective and more comfortable than what had previously existed.

With a vision to reduce the burden of surgeries on patients, Dr. Ally collaborated with gynecologists and pelvic floor physical therapists who encouraged her groundbreaking work. “They wanted me to keep going and improving my treatment protocol,” she shares. Continuously refining her approach for optimal outcomes, Dr. Ally incorporates the concept of ‘neuroplasticity‘ into rehabilitation, applying centuries-old principles to the pelvis.

In her pioneering work, she unveils a fresh perspective, stating, “It was a new way to look at an old problem, from the lens of a rehabilitation medical doctor.” Her focus revolves around resetting, retraining, and reversing the pelvic environment causing pain for those in search of relief.

Dr. Ally emphasizes individualized care, where every patient is different, listening to their unique journey and then developing a plan tailored to their goals, needs and individual underlying diagnosis that caused their pelvic pain. This personalized approach ensures comprehensive and effective treatment for each patient’s distinctive experience.

Precision and Excellence

At PRM, Dr. Ally’s personal journey fuels their mission, “We are on a mission to stop the suffering our pelvic pain patients have to endure.” Understanding the challenges intimately, she vividly describes the symptoms, including lower abdominal pain, severe menstrual cramping, pain with intercourse, urinary symptoms, and bowel symptoms.

PRM offers a groundbreaking solution, “We have a unique, safe, effective office-based procedure that has been proven to help,” prioritizing prompt relief. Dr. Ally emphasizes the need for change, “We want patients to start feeling better sooner – and not be tossed around the medical system seeking assistance.”

At PRM, Dr. Ally emphasizes their guiding principle: “Leading with quality outcomes and data is our Mantra at PRM. This is embedded in all decisions we make.” This commitment ensures precision and excellence in every aspect of patient care and organizational choices.

Beyond Imaging

At PRM, Dr. Ally emphasizes, “Training our mission-driven providers on how to diagnose chronic pelvic pain and endometriosis is crucial.” Recognizing the challenge of normal imaging in these cases, she underscores the importance of a robust history and exam.

PRM is dedicated to empowering providers to craft individually tailored treatment plans. Dr. Ally proudly announces their collaboration with the ROSE trial, stating, “We are working with geneticists to find a non-invasive diagnostic test for Endometriosis.” This initiative marks a significant step towards more precise and accessible diagnostics in the field of pelvic pain.

Resilience and Restoration

At PRM, Dr. Ally shares a poignant success story: A twenty-five-year-old female with Endometriosis planning for a hysterectomy due to severe pelvic pain. She had dropped out of law school. Helping her get her pain under control, resume law school and avoid a hysterectomy, ultimately preserving her fertility was especially gratifying! It highlights PRM’s commitment to personalized care, empowering patients to reclaim their lives from the grips of chronic pelvic pain.

Navigating challenges as a woman, Dr. Ally credits her husband: “With my husband Gautam’s encouragement, I have learned to have ‘thick skin‘ and lead with data.” This resilience ensures her voice is heard and quality prevails.

Resilience and Restoration

Dr. Ally dispels a common misconception: “That the pain is in your head. The pain is NOT in your head.” She highlights a systemic issue, stating, “It is the medical community failing patients as we do not focus on training medical providers on how to diagnose and treat pelvic pain.” PRM is dedicated to changing this narrative, prioritizing accurate diagnosis and effective treatment for pelvic pain.

Unified in Care

Dr. Ally acknowledges her support network, “I have a lot of help from a fantastic team at corporate.” With gratitude, she recognizes her husband’s pivotal role as CEO, sharing his leadership, which is vital to the success of delivering care to pelvic pain patients across America. Dr. Ally values her medical team, affirming, “I am lucky enough to have amazing medical doctors dedicated to our cause at PRM. I could not do it without them.” Together, they champion PRM’s mission.

Dr. Ally stresses that communication is the key. She advocates for a continuous practice of care, ensuring patients are kept in the loop of the treatment plan for optimal collaboration and outcomes. This commitment to transparent communication fosters a supportive and effective healthcare journey for all patients.

From Inspiration to Innovation

In her early days, Dr. Ally found inspiration from mentor Dr. Iris Orbuch, author of Beating Endo: “Yes, Dr. Iris Orbuch was an amazing mentor for me.” Sharing a common belief in a comprehensive approach to pelvic pain and Endometriosis, their synergy played a pivotal role in Dr. Ally’s creation of PRM’s multimodal treatment protocol, enhancing care for those with pelvic pain.

A Bold Vision

Dr. Ally advocates for change, focusing on the lack of a non-invasive diagnosis for Endometriosis. She urges action, emphasizing that obbying the government to increase research funds towards finding a solution is a great start.

Additionally, Dr. Ally pushes for increased NIH funds, by increasing the NIH allocated funds towards women’s health issues, including menopause and peri-partum care. This drive for research could revolutionize diagnostics and care for women’s health concerns.

Dr. Ally envisions change, stating, “I envision a world where medical students are taught about chronic pelvic pain, where pelvic pain patients are diagnosed within months and treated immediately.”

In her ideal scenario, insurance carriers play a role, “In a perfect world, the insurance carrier will be familiar with the diagnosis and treatment of pelvic pain,” ensuring patients avoid unnecessary interventions and live fulfilling lives, free from emergency rooms, opioids, and excessive surgeries.

The Burden of Chronic Pelvic Pain: The Cost Burden

Chronic pelvic pain can seriously affect the lives of both men and women, as it can be caused by gynecologic, urologic, gastrointestinal, and musculoskeletal conditions. This can affect one’s ability to rest, have intercourse, go to work, and any other daily life activities.

A study that included research by Pelvic Rehabilitation Medicine determined that the cost for those who seek and receive treatments for chronic pelvic pain is well into the tens of thousands of dollars, often for treatments that provide limited sustained relief.

  • Surgeries: $15,750
  • Diagnostics: $5,264.22
  • Treatments: $8,937

In this study, chronic pelvic pain diagnosis and treatment costs $29,951 per patient. The average cost for pelvic pain diagnosis and treatment with the PRM Protocol is ~$6,000 per patient for those using self-pay. Most interestingly, the economic burden associated with endometriosis was estimated to be $69.4 billion by analyzing 12 tertiary centers in 10 European Countries.

Results By PRM

  • After the PRM Protocol, 88% of patients stated they missed 0 days of work due to their pelvic pain in the last 3 months.
  • After the PRM Protocol, 75% of patients stated their pelvic pain symptoms affected them 0 Hours per week while at work.
  • After the PRM Protocol, 96% of patients did not need to go to the ER for their pelvic pain in the past 3 months.
  • 75% of our patients note a statistically significant improvement in pain and function.