By Alison Synakowski, DPT
Many people are seeking the assistance of urgent care to assist with musculoskeletal pains. The access to orthopedic evaluations and imaging has significantly improved society.
While ruling out fractures or sinister pathologies is very important in many cases, the need to start an active course of care is equally important. More and more we are seeing referrals to PT from both orthopedic based and non-orthopedic based urgent care providers. This is because research is increasing- proving early initiation of physical therapy is instrumental to not only your short term vitality, but also your long term health.
Research has proven that early access to physical therapy (within 3 days of the onset of back pain) is associated with lower costs and utilization of healthcare. This study involved over 46,000 individuals. Research also shows that atrophy of muscles begins within 24 hours of injury. Physical therapists are trained to help reduce the effects of an injury and safely teach movements that help to minimize the impact of an injury.
Many times we are told to rest following an injury or if we have pain, however this should be considered relative rest. Meaning, rest the tissue(s) that have been impacted, but keep the rest of your body moving!!
It is an exciting time for our society in that we are learning to manage injuries faster, with less associated cost, and with better outcomes. The consumers are driving this movement, seeking out care that is now easy to access, asking for less invasive and less expensive strategies to overcome dysfunction and being proactive about managing injuries!
So if you are hurting, seek care sooner than later, it not only impacts your outcome but your finances too!!