Celebrate National PT Month!

Posted by Diane Coker, DPT, CHT & Karol S. Young OTD, OTR/L, CHT on 10/03/2016

Have you ever had a patient who was just unable to gain control over his or her pain? We frequently treat individuals who, after an injury or surgery, have a difficult time managing their pain. Often this is related to a history of opioid use or abuse. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, opioid abuse is a serious public health issue. The overuse of opioids has become a national epidemic and affects almost every community and family in some way. As the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) has announced October as the start of National PT Month, the highlight for this year is to increase public awareness about the risks of opioid use.  

We all know the positive impact physical therapy can have on our health and well-being. With this in mind, APTA is providing the opportunity to recognize and celebrate the transformative power of physical therapy. The APTA has launched a public awareness campaign, #Choose PT, to let consumers know about the risks of opioid use. The APTA has stated that opioid use is on the rise in the management of chronic pain. Risks of opioid use include depression, overdose and often withdrawal symptoms when medication is stopped. Consequently, patients addicted to prescription opioids are 40 times more likely to become addicted to heroin. The APTA is making an impact on this issue by creating public awareness. Physical therapy offers a safe alternative to opioid use, and plays an important role in the management of pain. Physical therapy has also been designated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as part of a long term solution in the management of chronic pain. For more information about this important public message, please visit www.apta.org.

Additionally, as part of this month long public awareness campaign, October 15 has been chosen as the Global PT Day of Service. This day has been designated so physical therapists will seize an opportunity to reach beyond the clinic walls, and give back to their communities. Suggestions for the day include donating athletic shoes to an organization such as Shoes4Kids, joining a neighborhood blood drive, treating at a pro bono clinic or helping to clean up a park. No matter where you are, the APTA states that you have the ability and opportunity to positively impact change. Therefore, let’s join together during the month of October, with our communities, friends and fellow professionals, to celebrate all that the physical therapy profession has to offer.