Where Healing Begins
Dr. Colleen Gest, PT, DPT, WCS
New Year’s Resolutions: goals that we set to better ourselves, our relationships, and the world around us. Depending on whether you’ve had success with this year’s resolutions and those in the past, making New Year’s resolutions (and sticking to them) can seem like a daunting task. Counselors and psychologists tell us that successful resolutions need to have an attainable goal, plan of action, some sort of accountability, and small, manageable steps toward your goal. Many of us have been working on our goals, and quite a few of us have given up on our goals. The type of behavior change required to successfully conquer our New Year’s Resolutions is a tall order indeed.
Pelvic floor physical therapists can help you with your New Year’s resolutions (I bet you knew I’d say something like that)! Have you been avoiding exercise for fear of peeing your pants? Do you avoid yoga or leave early because of the dreaded fart during Savasana pose? Are you unable to walk or run as long as you’d like or at all because of leakage, heaviness in the pelvis, or pelvic pain during or afterward? Are you trying to focus on physical intimacy with your partner but pelvic pain is stopping you? Are you tired of having to change your clothing because you leak when you’re rushing to the bathroom? Want to play with your kids more often but leakage stops you?
As a physical therapist specializing in pelvic floor therapy, I treat all these symptoms. Pelvic floor muscle problems such as weakness or trouble with coordination may be at the root of such symptoms. Sometimes the pelvic floor muscles have difficulty relaxing or are tightening when you think you are relaxing them which can lead to pelvic floor pain issues. And often I can provide you with behavioral, dietary, and fluid intake recommendations that significantly reduce or eliminate symptoms of an overactive bladder.
Your first appointment involves a detailed look at the history of when and how your symptoms started, what’s worked for you in the past and what hasn’t, and what your goals are for pelvic floor therapy. Keeping your goals in mind, an examination involves assessing the function of your pelvic floor muscles, and often abdominal and hip muscle strength and spine and hip flexibility. We’ll create a treatment plan based on your goals and the exam findings and you’ll get exercises and activity modifications for homework from your first session, so you can take concrete steps toward your goals.
Accountability is built into physical therapy treatment as your follow up sessions focus on what parts of your home exercise program have been working for you and what parts haven’t gone well. We can modify exercises based on equipment you have access to, or even to be able to exercises at home with your kids, and without equipment at all! You’ll never be shamed for not doing your exercises at Foundations Physical Therapy; if you don’t get to your exercises, we may need to be more creative in figuring out what a successful home program looks like for you. You may need to take a break from physical therapy and come back if life gets busy. I am here to help you be successful in creating the life you want, free of pelvic floor muscle problems.
If you have goals you’d like to meet in the New Year and you feel that you might benefit from pelvic floor physical therapy, please reach out to me. I offer a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation to all potential clients to discuss your symptoms and physical therapy treatment options. You can reach me for a phone consultation at (928) 350-8270, or you can fill out the contact form on the website.
Meet Dr. Colleen Gest
Dr. Colleen Gest is a Board-Certified Women’s Health Physical Therapist who graduated from Northern Arizona’s Doctoral Physical Therapy program in 2009. She has been treating people of all ages and genders with pelvic floor conditions and during and after pregnancies since then. She became board certified in women’s health physical therapy in 2019, which requires additional training and demonstrates her extensive practice and study in treating pelvic floor dysfunction and women’s health issues. Dr. Colleen Gest believes treatment of pelvic floor issues and perinatal musculoskeletal health conditions is a valuable and under-served area of healthcare. She recognizes the importance of the intersection of pelvic and perinatal health with race, financial health, gender and many other factors and strives to provide equality pelvic physical therapy treatment for all.
Dr. Colleen Gest, PT, DPT, WCS
403 W. Birch Ave. #1
Flagstaff, AZ 86001