When Nicole Cozean released her book “The Interstitial Cystitis Solution” in 2016, we knew that she was dedicated to the treatment of not only IC but also pelvic pain. She is one of the few Board-Certified pelvic physical therapists in the country and opened her Orange County CA clinic, PelvicSanity, to “restore sanity for patients caught between conflicting diagnoses and ineffective treatments.” Clearly, her patients love her. Dr. Cozean received 25% of the total votes cast in the 2017 best physical therapist of the year campaign.
Dr. Cozean received her doctorate in physical therapy from Chapman University and holds an undergraduate degree in Physiology and Neuroscience from the University of California, San Diego. She completed a Fellowship in urogyenocological physical therapy at UCI and has received more than 300 hours of pelvic health continuing education.
She also heads the Medical Program of the East Africa Partnership, a charitable organization that has opened and operates more than 40 medical dispensaries in rural areas of Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. She has led multiple medical mission trips and lectured extensively on physical therapy throughout East Africa.
On behalf the IC community, we proudly name her the 2017 IC/BPS Physical Therapist of the Year.
Two nominations and patient success stories stood out:
- When I started physical therapy with Dr. Cozean in January of 2017, I had all but given up hope for ever living a normal life again. I had been suffering with IC very intensely for nearly three years without a day’s relief. I couldn’t concentrate to work (I’m an author), I could barely sleep, and I had to rush off to the bathroom about 20 times a day. I had tried Elmiron for over two years at the highest dosage, without any relief whatsoever; of course, I followed (and still follow) the IC diet. But nothing helped. I was considering applying for disability, and just spending the rest of my life trying to do my work while in bed, with a heating pad on my bladder. On my first meeting with Dr. Cozean, she gently reassured me that there was hope, and that it was possible that I could even achieve almost total relief within six months or so if I stuck to the IC diet, attended PT weekly, and followed other practices she recommended, such as doing certain stretches for the upper and inner thighs, not carrying heavy items to one side (like groceries or a purse, so as not to disturb the delicate balance of the pelvic floor), not wearing heels, sitting on a pillow, and practicing deep breathing. As Dr. Cozean would massage the areas that she’s focussing on, she’s careful to let me know exactly what’s going on inside my body, so that there are no mysteries, which helped to alleviate some of my stress concerning the pain. (Due to her thoughtful explanations and thorough answers to my abundant questions, I now have an excellent understanding of how PT works to stimulate the nerve endings in the areas massaged, to send “healthy” signals back to the bladder, which over time interrupts the “feedback loop” of pain signals, which had been intensifying my bladder pain.) Lo and behold, within six months of weekly physical therapy with Dr. Cozean, my pain was (as predicted), with the exception of a rare, occasional, and very brief, light flare–GONE!! . . . I’ve got my life entirely back!! This means that I can travel again, and go places and be with people in complete comfort. Dr. Cozean also made sure that I understood how to properly massage myself, so that I could maintain my excellent state of health no matter where I go in the world . . . which is particularly helpful, because I intend to write a book, the research for which involves moving to Italy, which is one of my life’s greatest dreams. . . . It’s a dream which I can now actually go a