Physical Therapy Month

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Fiona McMahon PT, DPT

October is National Physical Therapy Month. During Physical Therapy Month we take time to inform the public about the benefits of physical therapy as well as focus on a particular issue affecting the lives of our patients. This month the APTA (American Physical Therapy Association) has decided to address the current opioid crisis. At Beyond Basics Physical Therapy, we addressed the treatment of chronic pain and the effect opioids can have in the blog titled “Navigating Life with Chronic Pain: Part 1 “. I highly recommend looking back at this blog to learn more about the pain science behind chronic pain and what you can do to treat it. Keep you eyes open for our upcoming blog, “Navigating Chronic Pain”: Part 2, for more on specific treatments.

For October’s Physical Therapy Month, the APTA has decided to address specific policy changes that need your support to help fight the opioid epidemic. The time for addressing the opioid epidemic is now (honestly, it should have been years ago). According to the APTA, 1 in 3 opioid users report they are physically addicted to opioids, and 4 in 5 new heroin users begin their addiction by misusing opioids. Even more staggering, heroin deaths now outnumber deaths due to gun homicides. This issue is an issue we, at all levels of healthcare must fight.

The APTA is advocating for these 6 policy changes to help fight the opioid crisis

1.Repeal the Medicare Therapy Cap: To allow patients on medicare to receive the care they need from their physical therapist

2. Remove Federal and State Restrictions that Impede Access to a Physical Therapist: Allow patients to see physical therapists without an MD’s referral

3. Ensure Comprehensive Insurance Coverage for Physical Therapy

4. Provide Fair Physical Therapy Copays Under Insurance: Reduce high copays and deductibles for physical therapy to lessen the incentive to turn to cheaper opioids over physical therapy as a pain treatment.

5. Allow Physical Therapists to Perform to the Full Extent of Their Education and Training: Physical therapists hold doctoral degrees and should be allowed to practice their full scope of services.

6. Protect Patient Choice of Physical Therapy Treatment: Patients should be able to select the therapist of their choice, not the one the MD selects.

If you have chronic pain, please choose physical therapy first. It is a much safer and more effective option than opioids. The physical therapists at Beyond Basics Physical Therapy are well trained and experienced in treatment of chronic pain conditions. Call today.

What Happens in Vegas Returns to New York

By Riva Preil

After spending three days last week at Combined Sections Meeting (CSM), the American Physical Therapy Association’s annual conference, I am overwhelmed by the tremendous amount of PRIDE and PRIVILEGE that I feel to be a physical therapist.  Approximately 10,000 physical therapists gathered at the Venetian in Las Vegas from across the country to learn, develop profession skills, share research, and network.  I have personally never attended a conference of such a large magnitude!  Physical therapists from many different specialties, including pediatric, geriatric, aquatic P.T., home care, and of, course, pelvic floor, came together to attend lectures relating to their area of expertise.

As a pelvic floor physical therapist, I had the opportunity to attend many fascinating and important lectures, including the effects of estrogen hormone replacement therapy on the musculoskeletal system, a diastasis rectus correction class, effective interviewing for pelvic floor practitioners, and psychosocial considerations of pregnant and post partum women.  In addition, I attended a lecture taught by several physical therapists who spent time treating underprivileged women in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, who suffered from obstetric and traumatic fistulas.  Also, I thoroughly enjoyed a two part session that was taught by Dr. David Butler and Dr. Lorimer Moseley, authors of Explain Pain.  Butler and Moseley shared their latest research findings on how our brain interprets pain and how various pain pathways are created and reinforced within the neurologic system. Their research has shown that individuals who UNDERSTAND the science behind their pain can better cope with and control their pain symptoms.  They encouraged us, an audience full of physical therapists, to explain the mechanism of pain to our patients as much as possible to offer each patient improved levels of control.

Furthermore, the conference featured poster presentations with the latest research discoveries.  I was especially interested in the research of Dr. Chiarello, PT, PhD at Columbia University, which was on Diastasis Rectus Abdominis and Function in Pregnancy.  Dr. Chiarello was joined at the poster presentation by Dr. Stephanie Stamas, a former student physical therapist at BBPT, who helped Dr. Chiarello with her research.  The overall exchange of information, sharing of knowledge, and professional networking during the conference was incredible.  CSM was a rewarding and enlightening experience, and I hope to have the opportunity to participate in future similar courses.

Below: Me and Stephanie at CSM; the CSM conference

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October is National Physical Therapy Month!

Now that we’ve started October, we thought we’d share with you some important information: it’s National Physical Therapy Month!

As PTs, we treat the body without medication, easing it through a variety of common health problems and recovery processes. We love the work we do, and we love helping you!

National Physical Therapy Month was created to create an official space for PTs to continue to educate the public about the benefits of physical therapy and the motion improvements it makes in people’s lives. We encourage you to visit the American Physical Therapy Association here or ask us to learn more!