Direct Access Legislation, what does this mean for you?

We are excited to announce that as of September 1st, a doctors prescription will no longer be required to begin physical therapy treatment. We have been eagerly awaiting this legislation to be passed in the state of Texas, where we were one of only two states to still have limited access to patient treatment.

Why is this so exciting? Direct patient access allows YOU to be your own advocate and begin therapy sooner without the hindrance of waiting to be seen by your doctor and spending the money on an office visit copay.

A May 2018 study on patients with low back pain found that patients who saw a physical therapist at the first point of care significantly lowered out of pocket costs and the unnecessary use of other costly services including opioid prescriptions, imaging services, and emergency department visits. Results from another 2018 study on patients with neck pain supported these findings with the authors adding, ” current trends in health care costs are becoming unsustainable for payers and patients and are not resulting in improved outcomes…consulting a physical therapist early may provide an opportunity to mitigate downstream health care utilization while containing costs.”

Out of all the states in the nation, Texas was ranked 47th in access to physicians in 2015. In 2017, patients in Houston were waiting an average of 19 days to access a primary care physician.

This is problematic when you consider that optimal physical therapy outcomes are obtained when treatment is started within the first 3 weeks. With the current laws, you would have spent that time waiting to see your doctor.

Some insurances may still require referrals or prescription based on plan types. If you would like to know more about your insurance or would like to start your treatment do not hesitate to call us!

Together We Can Overcome!

 

Back to school doesn’t have to come with back pain!

Back to school time can be hectic. Parents frantically trying to buy school supplies, teachers trying to get their rooms ready and kids fighting the inevitability of Summer ending. The new school year is coming whether you are ready or not, but you shouldn’t have to deal with all the stresses that come with it AND back pain too! Here are some helpful stretches that can help reduce pain and keep you going!

 

 

Pelvic Tilts:

While lying on your back with your knees bent, rotate your hips so that your belly button comes towards you and inwards. Pull in with your abdomen, don’t push with your feet. Repeat 20 times.

 

Lower Trunk Rotation:

While lying on your back with your knees bent, slowly allow your knees to fall to one side until a stretch is felt. Keep your knees together. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times on both sides.

 

Prayer Stretch:

While on your hands and knees, gently sit down towards your feet until a stretch is felt in your lower back. This is the most comfortable on a bed with your feet hanging off the edge. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat three times.

 

Hip Flexor Stretch:

While lying on your back, pull both knees up to your chest to flatten your lower back. Then slowly lower one leg down until a stretch is felt in the front of that hip. Keep one knee to your chest! Hold 30 seconds and repeat 3 times on both sides!

 

If you have persistent pain or your pain worsens, call Physical Therapy Associates to schedule your evaluation and determine if you’re a good candidate for physical therapy.

Huntsville Clinic: 936-294-0283
Conroe Clinic: 936-494-1292