Did you know that patient's wait an average of 19 days before they can get an appointment to see their physician? If a person wakes up with neck, back, knee, ankle and / or foot pain they will wait an average of 19 days before they can get in to see their doctor, who knows them and their medical history best. I don't know about you but when I am in pain I want answers and remedies as soon as possible. I want to do whatever I can to get out of pain with as little trouble as possible.
If the pain is really bad a person can go to an urgent care facility or ER and see whoever happens to be on duty that day. This can be very expensive and wait times can be prohibitively long, not to mention the possibility of being exposed to viral illnesses. Obviously, this is not the best way to receive relief for musculoskeletal pain like neck, back, shoulder, hip, knee and ankle pain. This kind of pain can really limit a person's ability to perform their regular activities. Being in pain makes work and recreational activities difficult if not impossible to do. Waiting 19 days to start to get some relief is a very long time, especially if you are in pain.
This is where direct access physical therapy comes in to play. Physical therapy is highly underutilized in this capacity. Physical therapists are medical providers who specialize in musculoskeletal pain. Where I live, in Virginia, patient's are allowed to come and see a physical therapist first for their care instead of waiting the 19 days on average to see their physician. A physical therapist in the state of Virginia is allowed to evaluate and treat a patient for 30 days before it becomes necessary to send the patient to see a physician. Under my care, many, if not most, patient's are much better by this thirty day mark. By bypassing the physician's office, a patient can get relief much faster and get that care from a real musculoskeletal expert. Physical therapists often have same day or next day appointments readily available so relief can began much sooner, putting the patient on the road to recovery a whole lot sooner.
So if you are in pain, what are you waiting for? Make an appointment to see your physical therapist and put that pain behind you!