You may ask yourself this question after an injury or when you start experiencing pain. If you don’t, maybe you should. And if you do, how long does it take for you to act on it? Research studies have consistently correlated improved outcomes and lower associated healthcare costs when patients receive physical therapy treatment within one month from the onset of pain. That means patients respond better and faster to treatment when physical therapy is started soon after the onset of symptoms. Letting pain linger can lead to chronic pain and lasting movement dysfunctions that put you at risk for future and recurring injuries. As physical therapists, that’s our thing: identifying and correcting the movement impairments that contribute to a patient’s pain.
In the state of Utah, patients are able to see a physical therapist without a referral from a physician. This provides a great opportunity to streamline your care and receive treatment faster. Physical therapists are trained in differential diagnosis to identify whether physical therapy is appropriate or if a patient should be referred to a different healthcare provider. Seeing your physical therapist first for an evaluation can shave weeks off the time from onset of symptoms to treatment for musculoskeletal injuries and dysfunctions.
So what are you waiting for? Get PT first. The sooner you get in to see your physical therapist, the sooner you will be on the road to recovery and back in action.