Physical Therapy Month

Physical Therapy Month

October is Physical Therapy Month

American Physical Therapy Associations (APTA) President Susan Dunn, PT, PhD, noted that October marks the annual National Physical Therapy Month (NPTM) to recognize the efforts of physical therapists to bring change in society by promoting healthy movement.

NPTM is a wonderful opportunity for PT’s (Physical Therapists), PTA’s (Physical Therapist Assistants) and their employers to actively raise awareness, stressing the importance of physical therapy.  Physical therapy is used to help decrease pain and improve strength and mobility. It’s also very useful for those who want to use a more natural approach over the use of opioids for treatment of chronic pain. With the ever-increasing use of opioids, addiction has become an epidemic in our country. Physical therapy is a very effective and safe way to treat chronic pain, without the use of opioids.

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Bringing physical therapy into the home

Physical therapists most often work with patients recovering from a serious injury or illness.  They work one on one with their patients in hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient clinics, schools and home health agencies.  The traveling physical therapist may work in schools, hospitals and clinics on a temporary basis for a short period. Both physical therapists and the traveling physical therapist may work with patients directly in the home environment.

Below are ideas and suggestions for traveling PT’s, PTA’s and their employers to help make October’s National Physical Therapy month a success:

  • Contact the local recovery/addiction experts and facilities – enable the physical therapists/traveling PT’s to educate those in recovery from opioid addictions. It’s beneficial for all involved in the recovery process. Group sessions, as well as one on one, are great ways to reach those who may be taking opioids for their pain, as well as those who are recovering addicts.
  • Participate in local health fairs held throughout the community, in the schools and nursing home facilities. Health fairs, 5k run/walks and local festivals are an excellent opportunity for the traveling therapist to get involved in their temporary surroundings.  Providing educational literature and speakers is a great way to make the community aware of the benefits physical therapy has to offer.
  • Utilize the public service announcements, newsletters and billboards in educating patients and family members of the significant benefits physical therapy offers over the use of opioids.
  • Social media usage has exploded over the last few years.  Use Facebook and Twitter (@MoveForwardPT) as a means to reach individuals in your community. Create a Facebook page dedicated to National Physical Therapy Month.  Post articles, links, photos and contact information. Create an inviting, educational page to attract visitors.

Physical therapy does make a difference in a patient’s life.

It is important that patients are educated on the benefits of physical therapy. It is also important physical therapists and the traveling physical therapist share their training and expertise with their patients.

Overcoming an injury or illness through physical therapy alone is a very obtainable goal, one that should be discussed with all parties involved. Physical therapy provides patients with opportunities to change how they overcome obstacles and lead them towards a healthier lifestyle.

Thank you, Physical Therapists, for your dedication and hard work. You’re making a difference!

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