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A Physical Therapy-First Approach to Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is affecting approximately 116 million people annually and this number continues to grow. According to the American Physical Therapy Association, the cost associated with these issues is $560–$635 billion every year in the U.S. for medical treatment, interrupted work time, and lost wages.

A Physical-Therapy First approach offers solutions to increase functionality, reduce or eliminate pain, and avoid or recover from surgery at much lower costs. At Tx:Team, our FOTO data, Net Promoter Score and patient satisfaction results show that we are consistently delivering superior outcomes and getting employees back to work with higher efficiency and effectiveness. Watch this quick video to learn more about how we address chronic pain issues through physical therapy:

At Tx:Team, we’ve been perfecting this physical therapy-first approach for almost 40 years and we routinely show above average results and much fewer visits than our competitors. Fill out this form to learn more about why working with us is good therapy:

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    Physical Therapy to Combat Musculoskeletal Costs

    Musculoskeletal Costs are a top three expense on most health plans, and on some they’re even number one. This trend is not going anywhere, and if anything they are increasing. At Tx:Team, we’re looking to combat that. Dan is here to explain how:

    At Tx:Team, we are committed to getting our patients better faster and getting them out of the seemingly endless healthcare loop. Fill out this form to learn more about why working with us is good therapy:

      Please provide your email below to continue the conversation with Tx:Team.

       

      Is It Safe to Go to Rehab?

      Many people are wondering…is it safe to go to a therapy clinic? During the pandemic, many people have adjusted their lives; working from home, less social activities, and simply staying sedentary on the couch.

      All of these lifestyle changes can result in an increase of mild and chronic pains as well as a decrease in functional abilities. This is where physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology can step in and help.

      Delaying procedures, reducing spending on preventive care and chronic care could and oftentimes causes negative long-term impacts on a person’s health. A survey by the Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP) found…

      • 72% said that the pandemic has in some way impacted their health care.
      • 41% have delayed care during the pandemic.
      • 53% of seniors have delayed care.
      • 60% with chronic conditions have delayed care.
      • 38% will continue to delay care in the near future.

      Physical, occupational, and speech therapists are considered essential workers and have played an important role throughout the pandemic. Therapists’ treatment plans are individualized and specifically address function to improve a patient’s quality of life while also treating pain and preventing future problems.

      There are many conditions that physical, occupational, and speech therapists can treat to help patients avoid hospital visits. Therapists have been identified as professionals who can effectively deliver interventions to not only help patients with chronic pains which have been mounting up over the past months but they can also help those suffering from anxiety and depression, which has become more prevalent during COVID-19.

      Fortunately, we don’t have to change our clinic practices during this time because we have always operated in a one-on-one capacity with our patients.  Tx:Team is also ultra-focused on the safety of our patients and our clinics by social distancing from other patients and following all recommended CDC guidelines. Our clinics are working extremely hard to ensure cleanliness for each patient through proper sanitation; all equipment and areas are sanitized after each patient’s treatment. Our therapists are also well-trained on the use of PPE and hand hygiene.

      Our treatment philosophies remain the same – you will continue to get the same great service individualized for you in a one on one atmosphere that we have been delivering since 1983. Don’t ignore or delay possible care for a condition that physical, occupational, or speech therapy can help.  Come back to rehab confident that your safety and care is our top priority.

      Physical Therapy and Safe Pain Management

      No one wants to live in pain. But when it comes to treating pain, where do you turn?

      Before you fill a prescription for opioids, consult with a physical therapist to discuss your options. “Given the substantial evidence gaps on opioids, uncertain benefits of long-term use and potential for serious harm, patient education and discussion before starting opioid therapy are critical so that patient preferences and values can be understood and used to inform clinical decisions,” the CDC states.

      Seek Out Physical Therapy at the Onset of Pain

      When pain begins, don’t try to self-diagnose or treat yourself. Physical therapy is the most conservative and least intrusive approach to managing your pain, which makes it a great first step. Not only can physical therapy successfully alleviate most pain, but it can also keep your pain from returning. A number of studies have even shown that PT can often be as effective as surgery for providing pain relief in some patients.

      A physical therapist can help identify the injured tissue (bone, muscle, tendon), and can put together treatments to help promote healing and reduce stress on the injured area. Your PT will be able to offer advice on how you can safely return to your normal activities without further damaging the injured tissue. With the assistance of your physical therapist, you’ll be able to recover faster and minimize risk of future injury or illness.

      How Can a Physical Therapist Help?

      A physical therapist educates patients on how to prevent or manage their conditions so they will achieve long-term health benefits. A PT can help any individual who needs assistance in the following: pain management, avoiding an orthopedic surgery, improving mobility and movement, recouping from an injury or trauma, recovering from stroke or paralysis, fall prevention, improving balance, or management of age-related medical problems.

      Having pain-free movement is crucial to your quality of life, and PTs can help identify and treat your movement problems. Your PT will design a treatment plan that is tailored to your needs, challenges, and goals. Waters Anchor physical therapists work every day to improve the health, mobility, and quality of life for their patients. For an effective treatment option, choose physical therapy to manage your pain.

      6 Myths About Physical Therapy

      Physical therapy is changing the way people overcome debilitating pain and lack of mobility. It is a conservative, cost-effective approach to restore function. However, common myths and misconceptions often discourage people from utilizing physical therapy. Tx:Team DPT, Megan, is here to debunk some of those myths.

      Myth #1: Physical therapy is only used following an accident or an injury.

      False. Physical therapy is often used to treat nagging pain due to sustained postures, abnormal movement patterns, and repetitive stress. Physical therapists are skilled at evaluating and diagnosing musculoskeletal issues and can be effective in treatment of these underlying causes, potentially preventing issues from becoming a bigger problem.

      Myth #2: Physical therapy is painful.

      Otherwise known as, “No pain, go gain,” this myth is partially false. Post-treatment soreness can occur; however, the goal of physical therapy is to mitigate pain and correct dysfunction. The physical therapist that you work with can adjust your treatment program, modify movements and exercises, and minimize discomfort to help you achieve your goals. The main goal of 95% of patients seen in the clinic is to decrease pain, so most of the time, that’s our goal too.

      Myth #3: It hurts, so I shouldn’t move it.

      Usually false. In some cases, it may be recommended that you rest and allow tissues to heal, so always check with your physical therapist first. But in most cases, the opposite is recommended. It’s usually more beneficial and will actually speed up recovery if you move the injured area. Most of the research out there suggests that early mobility leads to a faster recovery. The more you move, the better your outcomes. Or as we in the therapy world often say, “motion is lotion.”

      Myth #4: I need to see my doctor/surgeon prior to going to physical therapy.

      False. Patients have direct access to physical therapy. This means that you can see a physical therapist without a doctor’s prescription.  Some insurance plans require a prescription to utilize physical therapy services, so always check with your individual insurance provider. When accessing a Physical Therapist first, there are also the potential cost savings in co-pays, prescriptions, and imaging that could potentially be avoided.

      Myth #5: Physical Therapy is just massage.

      False. Physical Therapy is a multifaceted approach to restoring function which often includes, but is not limited to, manual techniques such as massage.  Neuromuscular re-education, exercise and activities, and the use of therapeutic modalities are also treatments used in your recovery. Your plan of care is specific to you based on your functional limitations and activity restrictions. The massage or manual  techniques are just one part of the comprehensive approach that may target specific tissues to complement other interventions within a treatment session.

      Myth #6 I have to go to a clinic to be treated by a Physical Therapist. 

      Not at all! With today’s technology, a patient is able to receive evaluation and treatment through telerehab platforms that enable virtual visits with your physical therapist from the comfort of your home.