Dr. Maureen O’Keefe

Meet Maureen

Dr. Maureen O'Keefe, DPT specializes in pelvic health physical therapy, hip, neck and spine conditions and TM joint disorders.  She treats all diagnoses including complex pelvic & spine conditions and myofascial pain in women and men. She is the founder of Purple Mountain Physical Therapy and leads our team to deliver excellence for our patients.

Dr. Maureen has Experience Working Closely with Top Physicians in the Field of Pelvic Health, Urogynecology and Chronic Pelvic Pain

Dr. Maureen practiced in Chicago for more than 20 years, delivering meaningful results for pelvic health, orthopedics conditions and TM joint disorders.  Her practice in Chicago was  known for helping people who had complex pelvic problems or had failed to get help elsewhere.  To provide excellence for her patients, she collaborated closely with top urogynecology, orthopedic, chronic pain, urology, colorectal physicians, midlife and menopause specialists, obstetric and sexual health providers at major medical centers including Northwestern Medicine, Rush University Med Center, Loyola University Medical Center, NorthShore University Healthcare System and others. With relocation to Grand Rapids she now brings this level of clinical expertise to West Michigan.

At the heart of Maureen's care is her mission to provide results for her patients, by delivering excellent care that is holistic and compassionate.

The entire purpose of physical therapy is to get you feeling better, functioning at a higher level and to give you results.  This is why we offer top-level treatments to help you overcome your condition. Dr. O'Keefe is here for men and women who are looking for a high level of service, expertise and who want results. Whether you believe your problem is mild or you have a severe, chronic condition and you don’t know where to turn for help, Dr. Maureen will provide you with care that is compassionate, effective, holistic and informative. Maureen has treated individuals with all levels and variety of pelvic health, hip, spine and TM joint conditions and can provide you the support you need and skilled treatment that works. Maureen derives great satisfaction in helping patients feel like their best selves by delivering compassionate care based in clinical experience and research of best practices.

Maureen is an avid learner so she can provide her patients with results

Maureen has completed ongoing post graduate education in the fields of orthopedics, spine, hip, chronic pain and pelvic health since 1999.  She served as co-Director of the International Pelvic Pain Society Post-Conference course 2018 and presenter 2016.  These courses involved teaching surgeons, physical therapists and other pelvic health providers advances in pelvic pain treatments.  She has also served as a teaching assistant in post-graduate pelvic health courses.  In this role, she instructs advanced hands-on treatment methods to pelvic health practitioners.  She loves to teach and her patients often remark that they learn so much during a treatment.

Dr. Maureen's Orthopedics Background and Subspecialty of Treating Spine Conditions elevates the care she provides.  Neck, thoracic, lumbar and SI joint conditions have been her specialty for over two decades.

Dr. Maureen began her career practicing in several very busy, general orthopedic clinics.  In these settings she worked closely with orthopedic surgeons and spent several years alongside spine surgeons, helping to assess and treat their patients.  She has treated every complex spine condition you can imagine, including chronic low back pain, sciatica, severe neck pain, neck and lumbar fusions, failed low back syndrome, tailbone pain, herniated discs, scoliosis, osteoporosis, degenerative disc disease, neck hypermobility, spinal fractures and ankylosing spondylitis.  She also has treated all orthopedic conditions of the foot, ankle, knee, hip, TM joint, shoulders, elbow and wrist.  Her clinical experience in orthopedics informs the assessment and treatment of all of her pelvic patients and has always been the base of the care she provides her patients.  She knows how to effectively rehabilitate tendinitis, bursitis, plantar fasciitis, knee injuries, neck pain, gluteal tendinopathy, chronic SI joint pain, chronic low back pain. She remains a member of the Orthopedic Section of the APTA, reflecting her deep commitment to staying on top of best practices and clinical advances for general orthopedic conditions.

Dr. Maureen Provides Advanced Hands-On Treatment Methods

As a highly skilled manual therapist, Dr. Maureen's patients comment that her ability to identify and improve muscle trigger points, fascia restrictions, pinched nerves and stiff joints is what consistently helps them feel better during an appointment.  It is common that a patient finishes an appointment and remarks "I feel so much better"  or "I can stand without pain" or "I thought I would never get rid of the pain I had, it was so bad; and now I cannot believe I don't have pain."  Some notable and unique offerings Dr. Maureen provides include advanced manual therapy skills, myofascial mobilization (myofascial release), visceral mobilization, joint mobilization, pelvic balancing methods, Functional Dry Needling, a specialized technique to treat trigger points, and heart rate variability coherence biofeedback training.  Her ability to treat someone's jaw and neck muscles is comprehensive and healing.  If you have a spine or pelvic problem, you will find her techniques for gently alleviating pelvic floor dysfunction are crucial to your feeling better.  The methods she uses and insights she provides with treating a person's fascia are often the key to calming down nerve pain, enhancing pelvic floor function, reducing TM joint pain, and improving bladder & bowel function as well as spine health.  For individuals who have interstitial cystitis, she provides an expertise that is difficult to find; her colleague in Chicago developed the framework and methods used in NIH studies on physical therapy for IC.  Dr. Maureen has been helping people overcome interstitial cystitis for over two decades.

Patients Can Expect A Thorough and Holistic Evaluation and Treatment Methods that Combine Hands-On Care with Specialized Exercises, if needed

Dr. Maureen continually evaluates her patients, during every appointment, assessing their body's response to treatment, modulating the treatment plan accordingly and working in partnership with patients to effect meaningful results.   Her goal and expectation is that following an appointment you will feel a change.  Often, her patients remark to her "I feel so much better than when I came here today."  Curious what an evaluation would involve?  Read this. 

Regarding Kegels:  They May Not Be What You Need

We know how to assess and treat your pelvic floor dysfunction so that we can determine exactly how to best alleviate your symptoms.  Kegels are not the be-all, end-all to pelvic conditions. They can worsen some conditions.  In fact, most of our patients do not benefit from Kegels.  If they are needed, they must be done properly, in coordination with other muscles. Dr. Maureen will guide you on which exercises woudl help you and how to do them correctly. Most importantly, she provides a safe, compassionate setting for you to receive expert care that comprehensively examines and treats your needs.  If you have questions or concerns about pelvic floor PT, you may be interested in reading this article. 
 
An abridged list of diagnoses that Dr. Maureen O’Keefe has experience treating: Myofascial pain syndrome, TM joint disorders, Pregnancy and Postpartum care, diastasis recti abdominus recovery, pelvic organ prolapse, SPD (symphsis pubis dysfunction), osteopenia & osteoporosis, urinary urgency and frequency, overactive bladder, urge incontinence, stress incontinence, endometriosis, lichen sclerosus, vaginismus, dyspareunia, post-partum OASIS injury, post-partum coccydynia, post-partum and pregnancy related LBP, diastasis rectus abdominus, pelvic girdle pain, chronic SI joint pain, tailbone pain (coccydynia), herniated disc, post-prostatectomy urinary incontinence, testicular pain, penile pain, chronic lower abdominal pain, nocturia, IBS, PGAD (persistent genital arousal disorder), chronic constipation, hernia, defecatory dysfunction, fecal incontinence, anal fissures, pelvic floor dysfunction, high tone pelvic floor, endometriosis, post-bladder cancer neobladder, Interstitial Cystitis/BPS, overactive bladder, multiple sclerosis related urinary incontinence, fibromyalgia, Pudendal neuralgia (no surgery and post-operative), chronic pelvic pain, post-surgical neuralgia, mesh erosion, prostatodynia, urinary retention, GSM (genitourinary syndrome of menopause) & vestibulodynia, vulvodynia, clitorodynia.  If you are not sure if you may need pelvic floor physical therapy, read this! 

Education:

  • Temple University Doctor of Physical Therapy, 2003 Philadelphia, PA
  • Temple University Master of Physical Therapy, 1997 Philadelphia, PA
  • Loyola University of Chicago B.S. Biology Major, Chemistry Minor 1993

Memberships:

International Pelvic Pain Society, International Association for the Study of Pain, American Urogynecological Society (AUGS), North American Menopause Society (NAMS), National Vulvodynia Association, American Physical Therapy Association (Academy of Pelvic health and Academy of Orthopedic PT), International Society for Sexual Medicine, International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health (ISSWSH)

Patient feedback:

"Maureen is one of the best physical therapists I have come across in the profession. She is the most curious therapist I have known and is an expert at treating patients with compassion. I am amazed by her energy, passion and dedication to excellence, yet she exemplifies much humility."
Female -postpartum pelvic floor dysfunction.
"I have been struggling with bouts of debilitating pelvic pain for over a decade that progressively got worse.  Unfortunately it took a very long time to get referred to pelvic floor therapy and I am so grateful that I have! Maureen is amazing! I haven't had a flare in the 3 months that I have seen her and this November was the first November I can remember where I didn't have a pain flare! I am so grateful that she move into this area because to find a specialist with her credentials and accolades is very rare. My urogynecologist referred me to her as a "Hail Mary" and that she was!"
Katelynn

Personal background:

Maureen knows what it’s like to juggle motherhood & marriage, manage a household, volunteer in your community, work to be a top professional in your career and aim to be healthy, fit and balanced. Maureen is blessed to be happily married for over 20 years and together she and her husband raise their children and admire the talents and personalities they each have and help them navigate the challenges of today’s youth. Maureen came to physical therapy by way of the volleyball court and biochemistry! She competed in Division I volleyball in college (a biology major, chemistry minor) as well as year-round club and high school volleyball competition. Her biochemistry major was an excellent foundation for physical therapy, because she understands how the whole body communicates, including circulation, neurotransmitters, synapses and brain/body connection. College learning was formative and she still believes she gained some of life’s most important lessons on the volleyball court: resilience, goal setting, hard work, time management, being a team player and positively improving the energy of her team. In fact, Maureen was voted Most Inspirational Player by her college team! She brings this positivity to her patients, striving to provide an uplifting experience rooted in best practices and results. For your pelvic health needs Maureen realizes you don’t have the time to research everything that’s going on with your condition and you need a straight forward path that answers your questions and solves your problem. She has done the research for you, in spades! Her diverse patients, with their unique needs and pelvic challenges have taught her so much about best practices, clinical response, effective treatments and more. Most importantly, she has learned from her patients by listening to them and paying attention to what they and their body tell her. Maureen’s natural tendency is to be intellectually curious about all things pelvic, myofascial and whole health related. With regard to pelvic health, Dr. O’Keefe has traveled the United States learning from top practitioners and has worked with international experts in the field of pelvic health, pain medicine, urology, urogynecology, obstetrics and more. In addition to her continuous pursuit of education and treatment methods regarding pelvic conditions, midlife and menopause, bone health and pregnancy/postpartum care, she also is an avid reader and learner about nutrition, phytonutrients, gluten sensitivity, gut health, brain health, functional medicine, toxic chemicals, mind/body health, fitness and exercise. In these areas, for example, she is a fan and follower of the work of Dr. Mark Hyman (functional med), Dr. Tom O’Bryan (functional med and gluten specialist), Dr. Brian Mowll (diabetes expert), Dr. Alice Domar (relaxation response for infertility), Dr. Randine Lewis (eastern approach to infertility), Dr. Stacy Sims (the female athlete), Dr. Terry Wahls (the Wahls protocol, feed your mitochondria), Dr. Daniel Amen (brain health), Dr. David Perlmutter (brain health), Dr. Dale Bredesen (The End of Alzheimers), Debra Lynn Dadd (toxic free living) and others. Dr. Maureen's knowledge and skills come together for your benefit to cut through the mystery of your condition, to provide effective treatment and to identify solutions to help you improve. Physician & professional recommendations:
  • Maureen is one of the best pelvic floor physical therapist with whom I have ever worked. Her knowledge and skill about pelvic floor, core, and upper and lower limb neuromuscular and connective tissue disorders is amazing..... I have not had a patient whom she could not help! And her enthusiastic, generous personality are a major bonus. Dr. Kimberly Kenton, MD Professor & Chief Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery
  • I worked closely with Maureen and referred her many of my pelvic pain patients. She is extremely skilled, knowledgeable, successful and collaborative. She is an invaluable asset for any practice who has excellent success with patients while a wide variety of needs. Dr. Diana Atashroo, MD Minimally invasive gynecologic surgery and pelvic pain
  • Maureen has Tremendous experience helping patients with pelvic pain. Great compassionate touch! Dr. Frank Tu Vice chair, quality, NorthShore Health & Clinical Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at University of Chicago.
  • Maureen O'Keefe is a leader in the field of pelvic floor muscle dysfunction (PFMD). She has presented at international conferences in the field of PFMD. Any patient of Maureen's is blessed to be under her care with her depth of knowledge and compassion. Debbie Callif, OT, BCB-PMD International Pelvic Pain Society advisory board member, Former board member Biofeedback Certification International Alliance Pelvic Muscle Dysfunction.
  • Maureen and I first worked together 17 years ago. Our personal lives took us down different paths, however we remained in touch over the years and Maureen has become a mentor to me. She is constantly reading research, collaborating with other professionals, taking continuing education classes and attending conferences. I always tease that Maureen knows everything because it does not seem to matter what I am stumped on, Maureen always has an answer. As a patient it can be hard to know who to see. I cannot recommend Maureen enough! It takes years and years of experience and practice to truly become an expert and that is what Maureen is! Renee Spinella, PT, DPT specializing in McKenzie treatment and Pelvic health care
Guiding principles: This much she knows is true and these beliefs guide the care she provides for you:
  • The body will tell you what is going on: look, listen and feel and you will figure it out.
  • Listen to your patients and they will tell you what they need.
  • Excellence requires constant pursuit of knowledge and reflection on what works, what doesn’t and what needs improvement.
  • The human body is made to move, the more you sit the worse your health.
  • The pelvis holds a lot of power, disruption in this area can create ripple effects elsewhere.
  • The gut and microbiome are leading the way in your health. Want to feel better? Work on gut health, it is foundational to everything else.
  • Managing your stress effectively and purposefully is imperative.
  • No one person has all the answers, we must work together.
  • The importance of sleep and recovery cannot be overstated.
  • Being humble and showing respect and dignity to all is a guiding principal.
  • The Golden Rule is a core value, treat someone as you would like to be treated.
With regard to each person Maureen works with, she knows you are:
  • A bright light: with unique gifts and talents and ambitions and fears and you will be honored when receiving your care.
  • Able to recover: Your body is powerful, adaptable and was made to perform for you. It can recover, heal and improve, when you provide what it needs. She will help you figure out what those things are!
  • The one who will heal your condition: Yes, you heal your condition, Maureen doesn’t do this for you! Maureen develops a plan of care and provides effective treatment that lays the groundwork upon which you will be able to facilitate your recovery. You will do the work so your body can respond and you will be thrilled when you experience results! Maureen will cheer you on, educate you in safety and effectiveness, provide skilled treatment you cannot do for yourself, tell you how to adjust and modify as necessary, affirm you and lead you on your journey. You have what it takes! Today is your day to begin your journey and Maureen would be honored to help you!
Not sure if our physical therapy for TMJ or pelvic health is the right thing for you? Wondering if we can help your condition? Have some questions before you schedule an appointment? We’re here for you, reach out to us to get your questions answered: (616) 516-4334