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

Where Do I Go To Stay Fit After PT?

Looking for a place to keep yourself active because your living room floor just isn’t cutting it anymore? Look no further than this blog post because I have the answer. Huntsville has tons of hidden gems just waiting for you to explore and find your exercise niche. Like I mentioned in the previous blog post, we do offer a maintenance program here at the PTA clinic for former patients that allows them the freedom to use our clinic as their very own personal gym. The details on that program can be found in my previous blog or give us a call if you have questions about that (936) 294-0283.

I would also like to let you know of all the gyms located in Huntsville along with their phone numbers, websites and addresses so you can find out more information about each of them to pick the one that best fits you and your workout needs!


Life After PT

So you have finished your weeks or months of exciting physical therapy and you are feeling pretty good about your body and the issue that brought you to us in the first place. Now what? What do you do every day during that time you used to come see us? How will you maintain all of the function and strength you’ve gained during your treatment at Physical Therapy Associates? We have the answer! I will give you a monthly blog of information on how to maintain the progress you’ve made with us through various programs.

Firstly, it is imperative that you receive a home exercise program from your therapist at the end of your treatment just before you are discharged. Make sure any questions are cleared up regarding your program before you leave. STAY ACTIVE! Do the exercises that were given to you on a regular basis (2-3 times a week) at least. Please call us if you have any questions or concerns about your home exercise program in the weeks following your last visit with us!

Another wonderful option we offer is our maintenance program. This provides a great opportunity for former patients to continue their treatment plan while being in our facility! With this program you are able to use our clinic as your very own gym. Our staff is available for questions and some assistance occasionally, however you are mostly on your own and do not receive any special care from therapist or technicians unless specified prior to beginning your maintenance program.

Maintenance Program Info:

  • >$50 per month
  • You do not have to have appointment
  • >Must come during patient hours
  • Current patients get priority with all equipment and machines
  • No massage or modalities
  • >Exceptions for specific wants or needs that will be discussed upon registering

This blog will be your informational guide to continuing a healthy and active lifestyle long after you are finished with physical therapy. I will incorporate places in Huntsville and the surrounding areas for you to work out as well as some easy to do home workouts for all levels of experience and ages.



You are now out of the acute/passive phase of your post op surgery.

You can now move your shoulder actively, bear weight through your lower extremity, and can stop using your walker, cane and crutches.

But…something is keeping your from moving your arm, bearing weight on your lower extremity, and from using your assistive device.

It is called FEAR.

Fear of pain, fear of re-injury, and fear of movement are common barriers in returning to normal life, work, or sports related activity.

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”- Jack Canfield

This type of fear is one of the most common emotions that our patients deal with.

Fear can limit full ROM, muscle guarding, hinder balance, and increase falls.

After having a rotator cuff repair, a patient told me, “It is hard for me to relax, because the fear of pain is hindering me from moving my shoulder.”

I was able to listen to my patient’s concern as well as provide comfort, and encouraging words to help my patient move their shoulder without fear of pain.

It is a process that takes time. That is one reason why coming to physical therapy and finishing the plan of care customized for you, is so important to your overall health physically, mentally, and emotionally.


Practical Ways to overcome Fear in Physical Therapy:

  1. Come to your appointments planed out by you and your Therapist
  2. Discuss your fears/concerns/goals with your Therapist
  3. Participate and engage in your plan of care each session
  4. Ask questions
  5. Take part in your home exercise program customized for you
  6. Finally Smile, laugh and have fun!!


As a staff of Physical Therapy Associates, one of our main goals is to provide a safe, confidential environment to discuss your fears and concerns, and together work towards providing you with the utmost care to meet your goal.

You should not have fear keep you from living your life to the fullest!!!

Together we can overcome Fear!

“For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.”

2 Timothy 1:7

YOU Deserve It!!

Overheard in the clinic yesterday: “I’m really not as bad as some people in here, I’m not sure I should be here.”

If this is how you feel about physical therapy I want to let you know that you DESERVE to be here.

  • You deserve to not be in pain.
  • You deserve to be able to sleep through the night.
  • You deserve to be able to get your clothes on and off without help.
  • You deserve to be able to get in and out of your car.
  • You deserve to feel strong and secure.

This is something you are doing for yourself. And we are here to help.

Dream BIG!

We all have dreamed of being something when we were younger. It could have been an astronaut, an NBA player, or even something as simple as an artist. But as we age, suddenly these big dreams transform into ideas we simple consider unrealistic, and we push them to the side. But why is that? We should never quit dreaming big in the first place. Although these dreams may seem unrealistic to others, life is full of opportunities to secure these goals.

Think of it in this context. It’s the right thing to do for the world. Imagine an earth without the dreamers and innovators who made such huge contributions. There would be no cures for diseases. There would be no technology for our entertainment. There would not even be any electrical lights for us to observe each other with. Our world would not be remotely the same if those individuals had not dared to dream big. Dreaming big not only allows us to explore the deepest corners of our minds, but it gives us the tools to really leave our mark on this planet. Without our dreams, we have lost our biggest asset in order to achieve success.

Big dreams are what make the world go around. They are the reasons why we live in such a modern society today and are the driving forces behind so many successful people. We all have dreams and goals inside of us; do not let them fade away. There is too much of an opportunity to them actually coming true.

PT can treat the tailbone????

Being healthy from head to tail may be harder than it appears!  You can eat well, exercise and try to live stress free (or stress reduced!), and then something derails you. Like falling on your bottom. Jane was walking down the stairs and one foot went right out from underneath her! Months later her tail bone still ached and she couldn’t sit still for more than 2-3 minutes. She also noticed headaches came more frequently since her fall and her pelvic floor wasn’t quite as strong as it once was (those embarrassing urine leaks). Pills from her doctor didn’t help and as much as she tried to exercise the pain away, nothing was working. A friend suggested physical therapy to help and she decided to give it the good ol’ college try.

“I didn’t realized PT could treat the tail bone!”

When she came in to see us she said, ‘I didn’t realize PT could treat the tail bone!’ Of course we can!  Interestingly, her headaches were reduced and pelvic floor problems were fixed with treatment to the coccyx. You see, the tail bone works as a keystone for the pelvic floor muscles and provides the base for ligamentous attachments that run the length of the spine. PT for the tail bone has helped our patients with pain running down their legs, buttock pain, low back pain, abdominal pain and rib/thoracic wall pain as well. Don’t forget, everything is connected! If you want more information about tail bone pain call for a free 15 minute consultation with one of our therapists today!

One Life. One Body.

You only have ONE heart….keep it healthy!

One life. One body.
One chance to treat it well!

Are you able to walk to the mailbox without getting winded? Are you able to walk up and down the stair without stopping? If you said ‘No’ to these, it may indicate that you have a heart that needs a little TLC! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, uncontrolled high blood pressure is the leading cause of heart disease and stroke. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute encourages the following changes for lowering your blood pressure:

  1. Maintain a healthy weight.
  2. Do physical activity for 30 minutes most days of the week.
  3. Eat a diet high is fresh fruits and vegetables, with low fat dairy products with reduced saturated and total fat.
  4. Choose foods that are lower in salt and other forms of sodium.
  5. If you drink alcohol, have no more than 1 drink a day for women and 2 drinks a day for men.
  6. Remember to take your blood pressure medicine.

As 2016 is just getting started, now is the time to make some changes! You and your physician should decide on what is a healthy weight for you. Likewise, the two of you can decide on which blood pressure medications will likely work well for you and your current conditions.

Next, take a good look at what you are eating! Are there a lot of processed foods? Restaurant, prepackaged and frozen meals can be high in sodium, as well as very large in portion sizes. Speak with your physician or a dietitian regarding your current dietary needs.

Lastly, get moving! As the outside temperatures are flirting with the 70’s, now is an ideal time to start short walks that can be extended as your endurance increases and the outside temperatures warm up. Is there some pain that is stopping you? When you speak with your physician about your blood pressure ask for a prescription for physical therapy. Our staff at Physical Therapy Associates can get you in good working order to meet your heart health goals. If you just need a little direction in your fitness endeavors but you don’t need to be treated, ask about our Gym or our Athletic Capability Enhancement (ACE) Programs to take you to the next level.

One life. One body. One chance to treat it well!


Happy Heart Month!  Yes, Valentines day falls in February, but it’s also American Heart Month, when we should take a good look at the health of our cardiovascular systems. In honor of Superbowl 50 this weekend, we have the first of many Healthy to the Core Challenges for you! Here’s how you play:

Healthy to the Core Superbowl Challenge

Every time you see a beverage commercial, drink a cup of water

Every time you see a snack commercial, treat yourself to some fresh veggies (ok, you can have the ranch with them)

When your team scores, do a touchdown Celebration dance and the opposing team’s fans must copy the dance.

Each time a team score a Field Goal, get up from the sofa for 10 body weight squats (more or less as you’re able)

For each Interception, stand up and do 15 arm circles.
Send us a picture of you during the game completing the challenge! One lucky person will get a free prize 🙂

Remember – you only have one body and one life, so live well and be happy!
Christa (Go Broncos!)