October is “National Physical Therapy” Month
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October is “National Physical Therapy” Month

Albany, NY (October 2, 2013) -- October is “National Physical Therapy” month and while most people have heard about physical therapy know someone who has received therapy, or have even seen a Physical Therapist themselves, many may not know that:

  • Physical Therapy does not require a referral from a physician in New York State.
  • Physical therapy is a covered benefit under Medicare, workers compensation and most commercial insurance plans.
  • Physical therapists are medical experts in diseases and conditions of the musculoskeletal and neurological systems
  • Physical therapists are highly trained clinicians, completing extensive graduate studies that lead to a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree.
  • Physical therapy can trace its roots back to Hippocrates, the father of western medicine who advocated “hands on” treatment including massage, manual therapy and hydrotherapy for the ancient Greeks.

“Most people associate physical therapy with orthopedic issues such as recuperating from knee or shoulder surgery or in relation to sports injuries. But the scope of physical therapy practice is much broader than that -- it is an integral component in diagnosing and treating the full range of neuromuscular diseases and conditions,” said Matthew R. Hyland, PT, DPT, and president of the New York Physical Therapy Association. “Physical therapy can help people walk again after a stroke, or complete everyday tasks when function and mobility are limited because of arthritis, or regain their stamina after a heart attack.”
Physical therapy is a cornerstone in the treatment of many musculoskeletal and neurological conditions from arthritis to vertigo and from sprains, strains and fractures to stroke. It utilizes a variety of therapeutic techniques including manual therapy, exercise, balance training and patient education to relax, strengthen and heal muscles.

The primary goal of physical therapy is to help maintain, restore or improve motion and mobility that has been impaired by disability, injury, or disease. It can also help eliminate pain in a wide range of conditions such as low back pain, tendinitis/bursitis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, offering an alternative to costly medications and injections. In addition, by eliminating pain and restoring mobility it can help avoid the need for surgery. And, physical therapy can play a key role in any wellness program, helping to avoid future problems.

Physical therapists are required to complete extensive education and clinical training, generally from three to four years of post-baccalaureate study in basic and applied science, clinical science, social science and research methods. Their education also involves rigorous clinical internships, ultimately leading to a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. In addition, many physical therapists participate in a physical therapy residency or fellowship program for an additional nine to 36 months. Further, physical therapists must be licensed by the state in which they practice, as well as take continuing education courses throughout their careers.

For more information about physical therapy and how it can help restore motion and mobility and enhance quality of life, go to www.moveforwardny.com.



The New York Physical Therapy Association is a professional, non-profit association representing the interests of approximately 12,000 Physical Therapists (PTs), Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs) and PT/PTA students in New York State. The NYPTA is dedicated to serving the public's health interests, improving the standard of health for people of all ages and advancing the benefits of physical therapy and the interests of physical therapy professionals in state of New York. To learn more about the New York Physical Therapy Association please visit www.nypta.org.


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