WHAT IS DIRECT ACCESS AND WHY YOU SHOULD CARE?
By Jackie Oliver, DPT
Direct Access. It sounds like an exclusive VIP backstage pass but, in reality, it’s an all access pass for individuals to see their physical therapist without a doctor’s referral. That’s right, you don’t have to spend time and money to go see a doctor before seeking physical therapy treatment.
A study done by GALLUP, asked individuals which profession was the safest and most effective for treating neck pain. Overwhelmingly people answered physical therapy. Though surprisingly when asked what profession they sought treatment from first, only 6% said physical therapy. Most went to their medical doctor first.
A lot of people are not aware that physical therapy is a direct access profession. Direct access benefits you in many ways. It streamlines your care, by eliminating the time between a physician’s appointment and getting in to see your physical therapist. By seeing your physical therapist first, you can start to improve your function, decrease pain and restore quality of life without delay. Furthermore, you could save hundreds of dollars on care. Medical doctors may do x-rays or prescribe medications that can end up costing a lot of money but don’t really solve your problems. Physical therapy is a great alternative to dangerous opioids and is often more effective than opioids, and in some cases surgery. If you think that your injury or pain is musculoskeletal in nature, a physical therapist should be your first stop. This will promote optimal outcomes and recovery.
Not sure if we can help? Physical therapists are highly-trained professionals that are well equipped to be able to recognize if a problem isn’t musculoskeletal in nature and, if necessary, able to refer you on to the proper health care professional to address your issue. Physical therapists are not meant to take the place the of physicians, in fact, we work very closely with them to optimize your care. Keep physical therapy in mind the next time you have an ache or a pain that just won’t go away. We can help get you back to doing what you love.
Call us today to schedule a thorough physical therapy evaluation in our Bozeman or Manhattan office.