Monthly The Future of Physical Therapy Why PT Is Moving to the Forefront of Modern Health Care
The American health care paradigm is changing. In response to skyrocketing costs throughout the medical field and increased out-of-pocket burden, patients are beginning to take an increasingly proactive stance in their health and well-being. People are more careful and selective than ever with their health care choices, searching for options with proven value and long-term, successful outcomes. And with a rising shortage of primary care physicians throughout the country, patients suffering from aches and pains are finally starting to realize that, often, it is most efficient and cost-effective to start treatment directly with a skilled physical therapist than with a doctor. Each year, we see an increase in public awareness about the incredible benefits physical therapy can offer. Physicians and patients alike now recognize that orthopedic physical therapists are the experts in the primary care of musculoskeletal disorders. Each therapist undergoes a minimum of six years of higher education across a combination of bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees to unearth the intricate processes behind all types of musculoskeletal dysfunction and to address them at the root cause of pain using natural, conservative treatments that provide lasting results. Today, physical therapy isn’t some auxiliary treatment — it’s a vital part of any patient’s medical portfolio. Most people have a primary care physician for routine checkups and to bolster their overall health and a dentist to keep their smile sparkling and their oral health in order. But they should also have a primary physical therapist to prevent and treat musculoskeletal injury and disorder, helping them maintain the physical comfort, functional capability, and confidence they need to continue doing the things that matter most to them. When companies implement proactive, on-site physical therapy services and screening, the risk of their employees developing musculoskeletal problems plummets by more than 50 percent. Seeing a primary physical therapist twice
Pilates: an excellent tool to restore strength and mobility for injury recovery and prevention
a year for a movement, strength, flexibility, and balance assessment results in similarly dramatic outcomes in your wellness.
Luckily, even as medical costs have climbed, physical therapists have maintained their ability to provide natural healing and overall wellness at a fraction of the cost of medications, diagnostic imaging, injections, and surgery. A typical course of physical therapy treatment costs less than a thousand dollars. This is in stark contrast to other treatments — an MRI clocks in over $2,500, injections at $3,800-plus, and a year’s supply of potentially dangerous opioids at more than $6,500. And many of these treatments end up only delaying surgery for a few months — a procedure that may cost more than $30,000. What’s more, for the vast majority of musculoskeletal disorders, including back and knee pain, the outcomes for physical therapy are often equal to or better than those of surgery and other invasive treatments. From my perspective, these trends are all part of a new dawn of preventive and proactive health care centered around physical therapy. With PT at the forefront of musculoskeletal treatment as patients educate themselves more and more about their health care options, our team at OPTM of Saratoga will reach more people than ever, transforming lives with long-term health and well-being. Dr. Fabrice Rockich
www.optmsaratoga.com 408-973-7700 1
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