That's right - you can be seen by a physical therapist without waiting weeks or months to see a doctor for a script. Only 30% of the population knows that this is an option for them. So, why is it so important to spread the word about this resource?
Before we dive into its importance, here is a little background information: In 2015, Direct Access was implemented in all 50 states, which allows individuals to seek evaluation and treatment from a licensed physical therapist without a referral from a physician. In New York State, only a physical therapist with 3 or more years of professional experience is allowed to evaluate a patient through direct access.
How do physical therapists have the ability to do this? Licensed physical therapists undergo years of formal education and extensive clinical training. Also known as "doctors of physical therapy", they have the knowledge and training to evaluate and diagnose a patient's condition, assess their needs, and if indicated, begin a skilled treatment program. Just as other healthcare professionals have specialties, physical therapists are considered "movement specialists".
But what if it PT isn't working? In the instance where a person might not be suitable for PT, physical therapists are also trained to recognize "red flags"; this is when a patient presents with signs or symptoms indicating the need for further evaluation by a healthcare practitioner or physician.
Direct access provides individuals, in any age group, the ability to take charge of their own health. Rather than waiting weeks to be evaluated by an orthopedic specialist for instance, you have the autonomy to call and make a same day appointment to be evaluated and treated by a physical therapist for that nagging knee problem. Many conditions can be treated without the hefty costs of diagnostic testing or surgery. You just might find the results you've been looking for by choosing the conservative route of PT.
Whether it's pain you're dealing with, balance problems, feeling out of shape, dizziness or weakness, a physical therapist is a safe place to start your recovery. They can help you get back to living your best life and doing what you love. Call Burd PT today and take charge of your health!