October is National Physical Therapy Month. The American Physical Therapy Association is working to raise awareness of physical therapy as a safe & effective alternative to medication use, such as opioids, for treatment of chronic pain conditions. Physical therapy is a means to conservatively treat a multitude of conditions including acute or chronic pain, neurological conditions, traumatic injuries, difficulty with walking or falls, recovery after surgery, and more. Physical therapists get to spend more one-on-one time with patients than almost any other medical professional. They take into account not only the diagnosis but also include the patient in goal making allowing the therapist and patient to work using a team approach towards pain reduction. The therapist will not only look at physical & structural ailments, but will also provide education on ways to cope with anxiety, concerns, and will be able to answer questions patients may have about their problem. You may receive physical therapy in a variety of settings including outpatient, home health, an acute care hospital, or in a swing bed facility.

National Physical Therapy Month is a time to celebrate the powerful work done by health professionals whose job is to help restore and maintain function and improve people’s lives without using potentially harmful and addictive medications. Opioid overdoses accounted for more than 42,000 deaths in 2016 and have continued to grow over recent years. An estimated 40% of opioid overdose deaths involved a prescription opioid. According to the APTA, Physical therapy is “the safer way to manage pain.”

You can help to manage the opioid crisis by getting involved and urging loved ones to choose physical therapy (#ChoosePT) to improve mobility, manage pain and other chronic conditions, recover from surgery or injury, and learn long term strategies to improve overall health. The need for physical therapy is expected to increase 22% over the next ten years, as it has been proven to be an effective means of healthier living.

How can you get involved in PT month?  You can share resources from APTA’s official consumer information website, ChoosePT.com, which has a symptoms and conditions guide, and some general health tips. A few fun ways to get involved socially are to post with #ChoosePT in your social media posts, get Choose PT shirts, and follow the American Physical Therapy Association on Twitter and Facebook. Spread the word, physical therapy is positively changing people’s lives. Help be a part of the change!

Excelsior Springs Hospital is a local community hospital that offers rehabilitation services including physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. Having all three scopes of practice available in one place is very important for providing all the resources necessary to get patients back on their feet and back into the community. Questions about therapy services and how it can help you can be answered by calling 816-629-2770.

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