Doctor's Physical Therapy Health Notes and Tips
Published by DPTSI on 2018-02-22


Physical Therapy significantly reduces use of Opiods, Injections and Surgery

According to the American Physical Therapy Association, an interdisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Pittsburgh reports that rehabilitation, including physical therapy, provided within 1-15 days of pain beginning may significantly reduce the use of opioids, nonsurgical invasive procedures such as joint injections, and surgery in patients with nontraumatic knee pain.

The authors examined data from a sample of 52,504 Medicare beneficiaries with nontraumatic knee pain for 12 months. The study's findings, published in the June issue of the American Physical Therapy Association's (APTA) scientific journal, Physical Therapy (PTJ), suggest that rehabilitation is most effective when it's provided earlier in the course of a patient's care.

Although evidence-based clinical guidelines recommend patients be prescribed therapeutic exercise as a first-line treatment for nontraumatic knee pain, the researchers found that only 11% of the total number of beneficiaries received these services.

Of the 8,672 patients who received rehabilitation for nontraumatic knee pain, more than a third were limited to postsurgical care only. For the remaining 5,852 patients, most (52%) were exposed to early rehabilitation (provided within 1-15 days).

Outpatient Services

Rehabilitation included exercise and other nonpharmacologic services or procedures—such as nutritional counseling, functional training, physical agents, manipulation, and manual therapy—regardless of type of provider or setting.

"We were surprised to find a low percentage of patients received outpatient rehabilitation for their knee pain," said lead author Joel M. Stevans, DC, PhD. "Our research further emphasizes the importance of working with colleagues from other disciplines to better understand how patients can be directed."

Increased and more immediate use of rehabilitation services could decrease the use of opioids or more invasive procedures, like surgery.

"We believe this will help reduce utilization of health care services that are more invasive or may place patients at greater risk," said study coauthor G. Kelley Fitzgerald, PT, PhD.

Physical therapy is among the nonopioid alternatives recommended in a March 2016 guideline issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), urging health care providers to reduce the use of opioids for most long-term pain management.

Movement and Exercise

"Physical therapists help patients reduce or eliminate pain through movement and exercise," said APTA President Sharon Dunn, PT, PhD, Board-Certified Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist. "This study adds to a growing body of evidence supporting nonpharmacological treatment options like physical therapy for chronic pain conditions."

Knee pain can occur suddenly or develop slowly over time and in different parts of the knee. Physical therapist treatment includes a thorough examination and an active plan of care, personalized to a patient's goals.

If you or someone you know suffers from pain or has been experiencing recurring pain it is important to contact your local DPTSI Physical Therapist immediately to begin a health program that will get you back to doing activities you love.

Visit www.dptsi.org to learn more about the types of conditions our physical therapists treat. Contact DPTSI to pre-register your appointment or have our Therapists call you for a free Phone consultation.


Published by DPTSI on 2018-01-08

Want to improve your pace and conditioning without the wear and tear on your muscles and joints from "Ground & Pound" workouts?

It has often been said that “Good form is the first step in injury prevention”. Paying special attention to your body's positioning at all times is key when being active. Educating yourself and understanding how to move your body correctly can benefit recovery by reducing any movement errors that have the potential to cause injury. This will also allow yourself some time to improve orientation and lessen pain on the compromised tissues.

The value of run/walk gait analysis is often overlooked. Great information is given to the athlete or patient, but a few days later, they revert back to doing exactly what they were doing before. Incorporating real-time video gait analysis can improve progress by recording and playback video so the athlete/patient can see the issues while doing muscle training exercises.
The benefits of the AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill featuring Stride Smart™ Gait Analytics & Video Monitoring are endless due to its ability to allow athletes to train while they recover from surgery, injury or just want to improve their athletic performance. With Stride Smart, you get powerful, simplified, real-time gait mechanics data that help you achieve optimal results in your rehab programs. Stride Smart is intuitive, it’s engaging, it’s collaborative, and it’s designed for smarter therapy.
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Gait Analysis for Performance

Our Physical Therapists use the Stride Smart technology to find flaws in the runner’s gait. If the athlete or patient can see their feet and movement patterns while they are running/walking they can make the correction and imprint the proper neuromuscular connection. They can see real time how their cadence changes, the length of their stride, and their weight distribution from right to left. We can then find the gravity at which they can hold the correction and allow the brain/body connection to take hold. We can discover any structural and functional flaws which can be corrected with sport specific exercise.

If you or someone you know could benefit from using the AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill featuring Stride Smart™ Gait Analysis contact your local DPTSI Physical Therapist to begin a health program that will get you back to doing activities you love.

Contact us @ www.dptsi.org and pre-register to come by and visit or have our Therapists call you for a free Phone consultation.


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