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National Physical Therapy Month: #ChoosePT

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October is National Physical Therapy Month. Each year, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) recognize and celebrate physical therapists assistants and physical therapists who help improve people’s lives through movement. Physical therapists also help people who are suffering from osteoporosis, stroke, sprains, arthritis, and so much more.

This October’s campaign is focused on choosing physical therapy over opioid pain medication. #ChoosePT raises awareness of America’s opioid epidemic and the dangers of prescription opioids while providing information on safer alternatives for treating chronic pain conditions.

Since 1999, sales of prescription opioids have quadrupled even though the amount of pain that Americans report has not changed overall. In relation, as many as 1 in 4 people who receive prescription opioids long term, for non-cancer pain, struggle with addiction. These are just a few of the staggering statistics of opioid use in America.

In response to these recent studies the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released guidelines and recommendations for prescribing medication. It is understood that if properly dosed, prescription opioids are an appropriate treatment option in certain cases such as cancer treatment, palliative care, end-of-life care, and certain acute care situations.

For other pain management situations, Physical Therapy is recommended as a safe, non-opioid alternative. Move Forward PT provides a few reasons why patients should choose physical therapy over pain medication:

  • If the risks of opioid use outweigh the rewards: Potential side effects of opioids include, but are not limited to, depression, overdose, addiction, and withdrawal symptoms when stopping use. With these risks in mind, the CDC guideline states, “opioids should not be considered first-line or routine therapy for chronic pain”.
  • If patients want to do more than mask pain: Physical therapists treat pain through movement, helping patients improve or maintain their mobility and quality of life. Physical therapy offers benefits that will help patients live a pain-free and active life for many years while opioids offer a short-term solution to reduce the feeling of pain.
  • If pain is related to low back pain, hip or knee osteoarthritis, or fibromyalgia: The CDC explains there is “high-quality evidence” that supports exercise as an effective treatment plan for these types of conditions.
  • If pain lasts 90 days: If you are suffering from pain symptoms for 90 days or more, it is considered “chronic”. This leads to an increased risk for continued opioid use. The CDC guidelines recommend and prefer non-opioid therapies, such as physical therapy, for chronic pain.

If you’re suffering from pain and discomfort, consult your doctor and ask about all treatment options including non-opioid therapies. The APTA also makes it easy to find a physical therapist in your area.

Follow along all month on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for more physical therapy tips and information.

7 Myths About Physical Therapy

Each October, physical therapists and physical therapists assistants are recognized for their hard work and dedication to restore and improve motion in people’s lives during National Physical Therapy month (NPTM). Lead by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), this month is intended to recognize the work of these trained specialists who help people restore or improve mobility, reduce pain, and stay fit and active throughout their lives.

At Relax The Back, we want to thank physical therapists and physical therapists assistants for all that they do and for referring our products to patients to aid in pain relief.  The role physical therapy can play in our lives is sometimes misunderstood. These misconceptions can discourage people from seeking out a physical therapist in their area.

Move Forward PT is debunking some of these myths to help people find pain relief in their daily lives:

Physical Therapy Myths

National Physical Therapy Month & The McKenzie Method

Each October, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) commemorates National Physical Therapy Month (NPTM) as a way of recognizing the impact physical therapist assistants and physical therapists make in restoring and improving motion in people’s lives.
Earlier this year Robin McKenzie, a pioneer of musculoskeletal disorders and their treatment, passed away after a courageous battle with cancer. Robin developed the McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnostics and Therapy (MDT) in 1950.
The McKenzie Method is based on the idea of self-care and patients managing their own pain. The MDT system consists of the following:

  • Assessment: A well-defined algorithm leads to simple classification of spinal-related disorders and is unique to MTD. Disorders are addressed according to their unique nature with mechanical procedures utilizing movement and positions.
  • Treatment: In order to restore function and independence, minimize visits to the clinic and diminish pain quickly, MTD uniquely emphasizes active patient involvement and education.
  • Preventive measure: Educating patients to self-treat the present problem minimizes the risk of relapse and gives patients the skills to manage the pain themselves when symptoms occur.

Robin believed that self-treatment was the best way to achieve long lasting improvement of neck and back pain. MDT is recognized worldwide as a standard for management of low back pain as well as the basis on which Relax The Back was founded. Robin made great strides in the field of physical therapy and his legacy will live on through the McKenzie Institute International. You can find more information on the McKenzie Method and the McKenzie Institute International at McKenzieMDT.org.