July 1: Direct access to physical therapy
On April 29, Gov. Mike Pence signed a bill allowing individuals direct access to physical therapy without a referral from a physician. Indiana is the last state in the U.S. to adopt this type of law regarding access to physical therapy. This law goes into effect July 1 and is assumed to decrease health care costs for both the state and individuals.
Thanks to the new law, people will no longer be required to spend money on a visit to their family physician to receive a referral to physical therapy. If a person needs the services of a physical therapist, he or she simply schedules an appointment with a nearby outpatient physical therapy clinic — no physician’s referral needed. Although physical therapists will be allowed to treat patients without referral from a physician, the law still requires a physician’s referral for the use of sharp tools (scalpels or scissors) for wound care and for the use of spinal manipulation.
Physical therapy can improve mobility and motion, help people avoid surgery, and eliminate pain. According to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), physical therapists can help improve mobility and motion by reducing the risk of injury, improving balance, preventing falls, helping persons recover from stroke, and address the loss of movement associated with diabetes. Additionally, physical therapists can aid people in avoiding invasive, painful surgery. Research by Alexandria Kirkley, M.D., and colleagues, published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2008, found that physical therapy, in addition to comprehensive medical management, is equally as effective at reliving pain and stiffness in the knee of someone with moderate to severe osteoarthritis compared to surgery.
When it comes to pain, physical therapy is a great alternative to costly medication or invasive methods for pain relief. Physical therapists now receive doctoral education to enter the profession and, according to the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), by 2015 all physical therapists graduating from an accredited physical therapy program will receive a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree (DPT). Education includes treatment of people with musculoskeletal conditions such as back pain, neck pain, overuse injuries, tennis elbow, osteoarthritis and other conditions that cause pain or a decrease in range of joint motion or functional ability. Since many of these conditions can be confused with one another or with a more serious diagnosis (like referred pain from kidney dysfunction), physical therapists are extensively trained in diagnosing each individual’s condition appropriately. Therapists are trained to refer accordingly if they decide that a patient has a diagnosis that is more appropriate for a different health professional. Likewise, physical therapists are also educated in the treatment of individuals with neurological conditions such as vertigo, decreased balance, multiple sclerosis, stroke, spinal cord injury, and a variety of other disorders that cause problems with performing daily activities.
Visit MoveForwardPT.com for more research and information about physical therapy and its benefits or to find a licensed physical therapist near you.
July 1: Direct access to physical therapy
Letter to the Editor: April 17, 2014
On March 20 of this year I attended a public meeting of the Tipton County Economic Development Alliance. Members of this group include the three county commissioners, a member of the county council, two members from the city council, and the mayor.
Letters to the Editor: April 16, 2014
At the time the agenda for the April 7 commissioner meeting came out, I was happy to see that the neglected commissioner board appointments were finally going to be addressed. These appointments had been in limbo for months on end.
Letters to the Editor: April 15, 2014
In a recent “public eye” article written by KT columnist Scott Smith about the proposed industrial wind turbine project; mention was made of the “new deal” brokered by Howard County Commissioners with E.ON.
- April 14, 2014: Letters to the editor Watch for bicyclists on roadways, drivers When you ride a bike near a semi, there are at least four blind spots where the driver can't see you. We need to be careful when we ride near trucks. If we get hit by a semi, it's usually our fault. But we ne
- April 13, 2014: Letters to the editor Grade your elected officials, vote May 6 After attending the Tipton County BOC meeting on April 7, I felt compelled to share a few thoughts. I have tried to keep from attacking our local elected officials as much as possible and, instead, attack the
- April 11, 2014: Letters to the editor Eastern Howard Co. opposes wind farm The majority of people who live in eastern Howard County, including the entire Winger family, do not want wind turbines obstructing our view! We originally signed up with Horizon, thinking it was a win/win proposi
- April 10, 2014: Letters to the editor 'We have turned our backs on God' In light of the Fort Hood shooting this past week, why are we surprised when Spc. Lopez goes on a shooting rampage? We are quick to blame it all on guns and mental illness, but in reality, there is a deeper cause tha
- April 9, 2014: Letters to the editor Is America for sale? High court thinks so Today as I watched the news, I became more and more angry over the things that are happening in our judicial system and politics. I am a proud American, born and raised in the heartland. I was raised to belie
- April 8, 2014: Letters to the editor E-cigarettes pose risk to kids, adults I was very pleased to see the article "Safer cigarette?" that was published April 1. I was particularly happy to see the research quoted in the article bore out what I have already observed in our own community:
- April 7, 2014: Letters to the editor Water hike will drive away town residents With the recent passage of another water rate increase will come more foreclosures and hardships for the residents of Bunker Hill. Our claim to fame in the past was already our outrageous utilities. While I a
- More Letters Headlines
- Letter to the Editor: April 17, 2014