Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

May 30, 2013

May 30, 2013: Letters to the editor


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.

Kenneth Taylor

Indianapolis

Why would county grant modification?

I thought the BZA spoke clearly at the public meeting on March 20. It stated 1,500 feet from property lines. Why is juwi Wind coming back with a modification of conditions, asking for 1,400 feet from non-participating residences and 1,250 from participating residences?

One thousand five hundred feet from property lines. What’s so hard to understand about that? If that makes it impossible to have windmills in Tipton County, then I guess they don’t fit in.

Juwi also wants waivers and variances so it can add to the reduced number of 70 that fit in the 1,400-foot setback and squeeze in nine more turbines. As I and many have stated before, 1,500 feet does not meet the required safety zone set by the manufacturers Vestas and GE of 1,640 feet for their own employees to live in. Why would we, the citizens of Tipton County, deserve any less?

Using the residence instead of the property line limits my use of my property. Question No. 3 on the BZA worksheet states “… the adjacent property will not be affected in a substantially adverse manner ….” If I am no longer allowed to use my property as I wish, since I am the one paying for it, then the construction of a wind turbine 1,400 feet from my house adversely affects my property. Using the residence instead of the property line gives juwi, or whomever comes next, control over what I can or cannot do in that 1,400 feet between my house and the windmill.

What happens five or 10 years down the road, when properties try to sell or change hands and the participating is now a non-participating property? Economics as we know are not a given. The economy could come crashing down again and force property owners to sell or maybe go into foreclosure. Where does the bank stand with a property with a windmill on it that, by then, is in disrepair or maybe not even functioning?

 So I ask the Tipton County commissioners and the members of the BZA: If you don’t take the manufacturers’ recommendations into consideration, and you ignore the safety and health issues, you ignore the fact that most counties, states and countries are increasing setbacks from 1,500 feet to as much as 5 miles from property lines. And if you don’t listen to the voice of the citizens of Tipton County and grant the modification request, then what could you possibly base your decision on? Politics? Money?

And speaking of money, even Donald Trump says they are ugly and will impact the aesthetics and reduce the value of his new golf course planned in Scotland and plans to sue to stop its construction.

Stan Jones

Tipton