“I know I need Physical Therapy but I need a script from my doctor right?”
WRONG! This is a common misconception almost everyone has. Well, besides physical therapists that is.
Every state now has some form of what is called “Direct Access” that allows patients to be evaluated, diagnosed and treated for any ailment that physical therapy can help. The problem is that most people are not aware of this.
Most physical therapists now have their Doctorate of Physical Therapy and have 7 or more years of education specifically designed to pinpoint what is causing orthapedic, vestibular, and a variety of other issues that affect prospective patients. They are uniquely qualified to diagnose patients and should be the first line of defense for most aches, pains, and movement dysfunctions.
By comparison your General Practitioner has had about a weeks worth of orthopedic training. They have such a tough job! They have to know about so many different things that could be affecting their patients that they cant have a high level of training in diagnosing orthopedic issues. Here is a common story I hear from my patients:
“I went to my doctor. He gave me drugs and told me to come back in a month to see if it was better…”
“It didn’t get better so Then I went to get testing (X-ray, MRI). It took a few weeks to get in and get the results…”
“I was sent to a specialist. He ran in and out pretty quickly and didn’t even see me move. He said there was something on the report but I didn’t understand it…”
“I went back to my doctor and she said maybe I should try physical therapy” (if they were lucky)
For weeks and usually MONTHS the patient who went to their general practitioner got no true treatment for their issue. When you schedule an appointment with your Physical Therapist, you are going to get evaluated and TREATED that day. There has been extensive research done proving that the sooner a person in pain initiates treatment, the sooner they get better.
I tell my patients that if they cut their foot off with a chainsaw or are having trouble breathing along with pain radiating down their left arm (signs of a heart attack) go to the hospital immediately! I cant help you. If they wake up with pain in their back or twist their knee while running one day I will probably provide the most help in the shortest period of time. You can get in to see me in 24 hours and start feeling better in less than 60 minutes!
Unfortunately, most people dont know this. Direct Access has been around for many years so save yourself Time, Money, and PAIN and schedule an evaluation with a Physical Therapist. Your body will thank you!