Monday, June 8, 2009

Who's the Musculoskeletal Expert...Your Physician or Your Physical Therapist?

I hope the answer to this question does not surprise you, but your physical therapist is the correct choice!

A study published in the BioMed Central Journal of Musculoskeletal Disorders tested physical therapists and physical therapy students and compared their results with that of physicians from a variety of specialties and medical residents on their knowledge of musculoskeletal medicine. The study showed that licensed physical therapists and physical therapy students in their last year of school scored higher than medical residents and all physician specialties except orthopaedic surgeons (see graph below).

With these results in mind, I ask that you support direct access legislation to physical therapy services in your state. Many states have passed direct access laws, which means the consumer can go directly to a physical therapist for musculoskeletal problems without having to spend extra time and money by having to see their physician first. However, some states have not passed direct access or have some limited version at this time.

For more information on direct access and to see what is going on in your state, please check out this link from the American Physical Therapy Association. At the bottom of the page is a link to a document showing current direct access laws in each state.

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