Why Go to a Physical Therapist?
Feeling a pain in your knee? A twinge in your back? A pain that is stopping you from living your best life? If you are, you’re probably contemplating what to do next; what to google, what doctor to make an appointment with, and what steps to take to address your concerns. We’d like to suggest to you that your first step be to get some physical therapy, and we’ll tell you why.
What is Physical Therapy?
Physical Therapists are movement specialists. Our role is to help you rehabilitate mechanics or dysfunctions in the way you move that may cause or are causing you pain. We can treat anything that you throw at us whether it is post-operative care for a rotator cuff repair, that nagging knee pain that you have from running, or the sprained ankle your son/daughter got at their soccer game last night. It is our job and our passion to assess you and create a comprehensive plan to address your needs and get you back to full function. If that doesn’t sound enticing enough, read on!
Shouldn’t I get an MRI first?
Over the past decade, the price of healthcare has been steadily increasing, and with it, higher deductible health care plans. People are having to pay more and more for health care services before their insurance will begin to pay. Physical therapy is without a doubt the most cost-effective healthcare option available. For example, on average people tend to spend about 10 visits in physical therapy and, while cost varies, will spend around $1,000. To give some perspective, here are the average costs of several common medical procedures:
Back surgery: $31,000
Total Knee Replacement in Vermont: $37,000 – $46,000
Shoulder surgery in Vermont: $16,000- $27,000
As you can see, physical therapy is certainly a cheaper first line of defense and can reduce the likelihood of the extra costs of further testing or procedures seen above. Additionally, with most surgeries or repeated testing there is the financial impact of not being able to work for extended periods of time and spending time and gas driving to and from appointments.
How to get started
Now all these cost-savings don’t mean much if it’s hard to come to physical therapy. A Merrit-Hawkins study in 2017 found that on average people have to wait 24 days to see a physician; that’s a lot of time spent not addressing your problem. The upside is that, in Vermont, most insurances (with some exceptions) do not require a physician referral to go to physical therapy. You are free to walk in or call anytime to schedule an appointment or free injury screen and begin addressing your needs. If you think you have need of physical therapy or even if you are on the fence please reach out by phone to any of our clinics in South Burlington (802-865-0010), Shelburne (802-985-4440), and Hinesburg (802-482-2200). Let us help you feel good again!
Contributed by Jack Frawley, DPT