National Physical Therapy Month: Pt 1
October is finally here! The weather is beginning to get a little cooler, pumpkin spice things are everywhere, the arguments over who loves/hates candy corn have started, and National Physical Therapy Month is upon us! The APTA started this celebration of physical therapists and our profession in 1992 and has continued to promote and encourage this wonderful profession for the past 25 years!
Each year there is a theme to National Physical Therapy Month and the theme for 2017 follows the APTA Move Forward campaign #ChoosePT. The APTA is encouraging the community to #ChoosePT as a safer alternative to opioids for the treatment of non-cancer related pain. Opioids have become a “go-to” medication for patients with pain, but they come at a very high price. Addiction rates are on the rise, overdoses are becoming more common and a staggering number of people are walking around with masked pain rather than treated pain. Physical therapy can help treat the cause of pain so that pain can be resolved while opioid pain relievers act only on the ascending pathways from the body to the brain to temporarily halt the transmission of pain signals. I like to describe it like this… there is a bridge out between your house and grandmas. Getting from your house to grandma’s is representative of living a normal, pain-free life (with lots of grandma cookies!). All of a sudden, something bad happens and the bridge between your house and grandma’s crumbles… OUCH!… now there is a crumbled pain bridge preventing you from living your pain-free, and hopefully cookie filled, life! Now, we have a few choices to deal with this crumbled pain bridge. Option one would be to block the bridge off and prevent you from crossing over to grandma and her cookies. This would prevent you from crossing the pain bridge and being hurt. This option represents opioids. They block the travel of signals to the brain, but the pain is still there. Another option, which happens to be my preferred option, is to take some time to rebuild the bridge. Rebuilding the bridge happens through physical therapy. Once physical therapy has rebuilt the bridge, the pain is resolved, and off to grandmother’s house you go! Now you are more able to live your normal, pain-free and cookie-filled life! I love cookies, I love analogies, and I love physical therapy! (Side note- the cookie comments run rampant because October is also National Cookie Month!)
Here at Motion Stability we all #ChoosePT every day and are incredibly thankful that all our patients do too!