Musculoskeletal issues affect more than 50% persons over the age of 18 years old in the United States and nearly 75% of those age 65 and over. Trauma such as motor vehicle accidents, back pain, and arthritis are the three most common musculoskeletal conditions reported, and for which health care visits to physician’s offices, emergency departments, and hospitals occur each year. Many of these issues get over-treated with unnecessary imaging, medication, and a lack of early referrals to Physical Therapy. In a Meta Analysis of 14 accepted studies, the Journal of Orthopedic Sports Physical Therapy in June of 2016 stated:
“Current US practice guidelines suggest an initial “wait-and-see” approach following onset of musculoskeletal pain, particularly for spinal pain. Several studies suggest that early initiation of Physical Therapy for musculoskeletal conditions may decrease health costs and improve outcomes compared to delayed use of Physical Therapy.” During this study they found, “Preliminary evidence suggests that early physical therapy may decrease cost without compromising outcomes.”
Another study in the same journal looked at the cost difference between direct access to Physical Therapy and the medical referral model. The direct access group saved an average of $1,543 per person and a total cost savings of over $400,000 compared to the medical referral group over the course of the study. What this demonstrates is that earlier access to Physical Therapy not only improved patient outcomes but also lowers cost across the board. Many people see a prescription to Physical Therapy like a prescription for ibuprofen, just fill it at any clinic since it’s the same product.
Physical Therapy, however, varies greatly depending on the clinic you choose. Some clinics use a very “cookie-cutter” approach where every knee gets the same exercises and stay on the same machines. Others take a more holistic and individualized approach, treating every patient as a whole person and not just as a diagnosis. Being an independent clinic and taking a more individualized approach with our patients allows us to utilize our wide verity of certifications, advanced technologies, and extensive training to treat each patient more effectively. We pride ourselves on keeping up to date with the most recent research to ensure that each treatment utilizes the most current information to help you achieve your goals faster.
Starting Physical Therapy sooner often times leads to faster resolution of symptoms and patients do not require as many total visits in order to get there. So please consider Advance Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation for recent onset pain or even pain that has been hanging around for a long time. We’re here to help!
Written by Joshua C. Anderson, PTA/L, CKTP,
Edited by Brad L. Bentley, DPT, OCS, Cert. MDT, CMP, Cert. ASTYM