Happy National Physical Therapy Month! October is a month to recognize the physical therapy profession and all of us at Merz Physical Therapy want you to know some of the things a physical therapist can offer you.

Physical therapists specialize in movement related disorders, specifically when abnormal movement is contributing to pain or an inability to perform an activity to your satisfaction. We believe physical therapy should be the first line of defense for movement related pain and it has been demonstrated time and time again that participating in a physical therapist moderated program can provide lasting improvements in pain and ability to function, in addition to helping avoid unnecessary surgery and medication use.

Don’t believe us? Below are just two of many studies that support choosing PT first:

Knee Arthritis - Effectiveness of Manual Physical Therapy and Exercise in Osteoarthritis of the Knee 

  • - 83 people with diagnosed knee arthritis
  • - half receive PT, half receive placebo treatment - 2 treatments/week for 4 weeks
  • - PT group demonstrated better walking distance and scored better on a survey measuring daily function
  • - Improvements in pain and walking continued to last at 1-year checkup
  • - 5% of PT group had surgery, 20% of placebo group had surgery
  • Ref:  http://annals.org/aim/fullarticle/713255

Back Pain - Management Patterns in Acute Low Back Pain: The Role of Physical Therapy

  • - Analyzed all medicare bills over the course of 1-year regarding first time treatment of low back pain (over 400,000 claims!)
  • - Compared patients who received physical therapy less than 4-weeks after pain onset (acute) and patients who received physical therapy greater than 3-months after pain onset (chronic)
  • - Acute group had lower odds of having surgery, lower odds of receiving an injection, and lower odds of frequently visiting the physician’s office
  • - SUMMARY: Starting care earlier is better!
  • - Ref: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3062937/

The findings of these studies are two examples of how physical therapy can be an effective and cost saving method of reducing pain and improving quality of life. We aren’t claiming we can fix everything, but the numbers are certainly on our side when it comes to treating movement based problems. Call Merz Physical Therapy at 952-935-4037 to schedule an appointment and get back to the activities you love to do - choose PT first! Happy Physical Therapist Month!

For more information visit our website: www.merzphysicaltherapy.com (website updates coming soon - stay tuned!)