Dr. Karen Burnett

Dr. Karen Burnett Mestek, PT, DPT, Physical Therapist

Karen earned her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Michigan at Flint. She also has a Bachelor of Science in Health Science and Clinical Exercise Physiology from Grand Valley State University. Karen is experienced with pelvic floor rehabilitation, having completed training through the Herman and Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute. Karen has a passion for working with a variety of pelvic health issues as well as prenatal and postpartum needs. She has also undergone extensive training in Functional Manual Therapy with the Institute of Physical Art. Additionally, Karen is certified in Functional Dry Needling Levels 1 and 2. Karen thrives on continuing her education and integrates many schools of thought in order to understand the root of dysfunction, utilizing a holistic, whole-body approach towards patient care. When Karen isn’t in the clinic, she enjoys running, practicing yoga, and experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen.

Certifications and Training
  • Doctor of Physical Therapy
  • Licensed Physical Therapist in the State of Illinois
  • APTA/IPTA Member
  • Women’s Health Therapist
  • Certified in Functional Dry Needling Levels 1 and 2
Continuing Education Highlights

Institute of Physical Art:

  • Functional Mobilization 1 
  • Core First Strategies
  • Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation 1
  • Pelvic Girdle Puzzle
  • Gait
  • Kinetic Shoulder Complex

The Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates Institute:

  • Rehabilitation Pilates Matwork Level 1

The Herman and Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute:

  • Pelvic Floor Level 1
  • Pelvic Floor 2A
  • Pelvic Floor 2B


  • Functional Dry Needling Level 1
  • Functional Dry Needling Level 2

University of Michigan Flint

  • Doctorate in Physical Therapy, 2014 

Grand Valley State University

  • Bachelor of Health Science and Clinical Exercise Physiology, 2006

What Karen Has to Say

Why do you work for Body Gears?

I feel truly lucky to be a Body Gears Physical Therapist. Body Gears invests heavily in continuing education for their PTs, and I am surrounded by incredibly talented PTs on a regular basis, allowing for constant growth and improvement in clinical skills. We take a team approach, always collaborating to ensure our patients are getting the best possible care. We have the opportunity to truly work one-on-one with each patient, allowing for focused attention and improved quality of care. There’s no place I’d rather be!

What sparked your interest in physical therapy?

I’ve always been intrigued by understanding how things work, which initially lead me to major in Mechanical Engineering. At some point during my first semester, I was visiting with a close friend who happens to have a rare neurologic condition. I had always admired how she learned to adapt and function despite having significant motor weaknesses. It dawned on me that I wanted to find a career that would combine my love for “how things work” with the ability to help people improve their lives. The rest is history!

Tell me about your PT school experience.

I earned my Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from The University of Michigan-Flint where I had the opportunity to be involved with founding a pro bono Physical Therapy Clinic called PT HEART. The clinic is operated by volunteer Physical Therapy students with Faculty supervision, and they provide completely complementary physical therapy services to those who cannot otherwise access physical therapy. Being involved with PT HEART was the highlight of my time in PT school.

What certification are you working towards?

This Fall, I am looking forward to advancing my clinical skills through taking the Pelvic Floor Level 1 course with the Herman and Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute. I am also eager to pursue Dry Needling certification in 2019.

How do you stay active?

I enjoy running, yoga, Pilates, and weight lifting. I also love working in my garden.

What Patients Have to Say About Karen

“Karen is wonderful & really helped me to understand what is going on with my body as well as a way forward.“ 

Catherine M. (Body Gears Graduate)

“Over the years, several muscular-skeletal related issues have surfaced (e.g. rotator cuff tears in both shoulders, slipped discs in the spine, scoliosis, severe muscle spasms, etc.), which have required my obtaining various medical, rehabilitation, and therapeutic treatments. Yet, the most successful and beneficial treatments that I have received have been at Body Gears Physical Therapy. Following my first visit to Body Gears for rehabilitation/physical therapy in 2011, I made the decision that I would never go anywhere else for my physical therapy needs.
In August 2018, it was determined that I would require Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement surgery on my right shoulder, and a surgery date had been established. My rotator cuff was again torn, and I could not move my shoulder–I virtually had no range of motion in my right shoulder. However, prior to surgery, I was to have six weeks of physical therapy. During the weeks of therapy, I was beginning to make significant progress, and it was recommended that my therapy continues for a few more weeks. By the end of September I could comfortably move my shoulder, I regained my full range of motion, and I have returned to most of my normal, routine activities. Surgery, especially, a surgery as serious as “Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement,” is no longer required or even advisable.
I commend and thank April, the Owner of Body Gears, Katie, my primary Therapist, Karen, Therapist, Bo, Therapist Assistant, and all of the Techs for their commitment to their profession and their patients’ well-being, for their good advice, and for assisting me in returning to physical normalcy. I have also been provided with exercises and tools to help me to maintain my progress. Thanks, Guys!”

Dcmd D. (Body Gears Graduate)