Top 5 Fridays! 5 Reason Why Direct Access to Physical Therapy is Beneficial | Modern Manual Therapy Blog - Manual Therapy, Videos, Neurodynamics, Podcasts, Research Reviews

Top 5 Fridays! 5 Reason Why Direct Access to Physical Therapy is Beneficial

5 Reason Why Direct Access to Physical Therapy is Beneficial -


To end this mini series on the topic of direct access, I have developed 5 reasons as to why it can be very beneficial. Each reason is paired with moderate-high quality evidence supporting it.

5 Reasons Direct Access to Physical Therapy is Beneficial by Cameron Faller

👉IT’S COST EFFECTIVE - Seeing a physical therapist first has resulted in decreased health care costs in a variety of studies. The most likely reason for the decreased costs include reduced imaging, medication prescriptions, and need to see a specialist.

👉REDUCES LONG-TERM OPIOID USE - A retrospective study found that individuals with low back pain who saw a physical therapist first were less likely to be associated with early and long-term opioid use.

👉IMPROVES HEALTH OUTCOMES AND LESSENS DISABILITY - A higher quality study analyzed the health outcomes and disability between individuals with sciatica who were referred to physical therapy early vs usual care (i.e. medications and advice) and found that seeing a PT initially significantly improved health outcomes and lessened the risk of disability after one year. 

👉REDUCES THE UTILIZATION OF SPECIALTY REFERRALS, IMAGING, AND PHARMACEUTICALS - Similar to being more cost effective, seeing a PT first reduces the need for a variety of interventions or testing that could result in increased harm and having deleterious effects in self-management.

👉HAS BEEN CONSIDERED AS SAFE AS SEEING A GENERAL PRACTITIONER OR SPECIALIST FIRST - It has been proven time and time again that seeing a physical therapist first is completely safe. With most PTs having doctorate level education or over 15 years of experience, there has been data collected from the 1970s indicating that it is no more dangerous being able to see a PT first than it is your GP or a specialist.

Currently all 50 states are able to have some sort of direct access meaning that if you are dealing with pain you have the opportunity of seeing a PT quickly, bypassing the need to get a referral. Early management and understanding of your condition can be very beneficial towards your health as indicated by each of the reasons above.

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via Cameron Faller's instagram
"Movement is Medicine"

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