Get To Know Your PT: Elaina Gayles, PT, DPT

Get To Know Your PT Elaina Gayles, PT, DPT

Therapydia Lake Oswego physical therapist Elaina Gayles, PT, DPT, takes some time to talk about her Saturday morning routine, her favorite pump up song and when she realized she wanted to become a physical therapist.

To stay active doing whatever activity you enjoy most. And to do it often!

When did you know that you wanted to be a physical therapist?

I knew I wanted to help people and work in healthcare since I was in high school when I was dealing with my own injuries while also taking my first anatomy classes. A mentor recommended I look into the field of physical therapy early in my college career and I haven’t looked back since. I learned that we get to spend quality time with our patients, help people achieve long term goals, and utilize movement to contribute to improving the health of our communities.

What’s your favorite song to get you motivated?

You Make My Dreams – Hall and Oates

What is the biggest challenge involved in being a PT?

One of the biggest challenges is tailoring treatment to the personalities of each patient. For example, for one session I may need to be more of a coach and the next session I may need to be more of a teacher.

How do you like to stay active?

First and foremost I enjoy being outside, whether it be hiking, riding my bike, or tossing a frisbee on the beach. I believe strength training is vital as well and I enjoy a challenging group fitness class, such as cycling, for the endorphin rush too!

What surprised you the most about the physical therapist profession?

Before getting my doctorate in physical therapy, I had no idea how much knowledge PTs had about the entire body. A DPT is able to diagnose and treat most musculoskeletal issues but can also refer our to other medical providers based on the medical screening tools we have. This allows us to see patients without a physician referral.

Are you currently pursuing any further education/certifications?

I am seeking continuing education in concussion and vestibular rehabilitation. I find our nervous system fascinating and I think this population does not always get the medical attention they deserve.

What’s your go-to breakfast?

Avocado toast with an over-easy egg or two.

What do you wish everyone knew about physical therapy? 

I wish more people understood that PT is not just manual therapy and exercise. I believe our most important role is our ability to educate people about what is going on in their bodies and this cannot be replicated with internet research or generalized exercise.

What is the most important personality trait that a therapist must have?

A PT must be able to connect with people and demonstrate empathy in a variety of situations.

What do you do to de-stress/unwind?

Spending time outside, exercise, painting, and drawing.

Finish this sentence: On Saturday mornings, you can usually find me…

Sleeping in!

What is the best piece of wellness advice you’ve ever received?

To stay active doing whatever activity you enjoy most. And to do it often!


Learn more about Elaina and our other Therapydia Lake Oswego physical therapists.

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