We all find ourselves experiencing some kind of physical pain at some point in time. Many who aren’t able to manage their pain on their own choose to schedule an appointment with their doctor, and some quickly jump to scheduling a visit with an orthopedic surgeon and make plans to go under the knife.

But is this the best option?

Frequently, this discomfort is thanks to musculoskeletal pain. What does this mean? Musculoskeletal pain affects the bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves and can be acute, with fast onset and severe symptoms, or chronic and long lasting.

Physical therapy—and exercise therapy in particular—has been proven to be an incredibly effective way to manage musculoskeletal pain.

Traditional approaches to dealing with musculoskeletal pain are expensive, painful and time consuming. Just think about how intensive and painful surgery can be! You have to deal with missed work, pain medication, medical bills and more.

Using physical therapy to deal with your pain has many benefits, which is why direct access to physical therapy is so important. Direct access laws remove the need to get a referral or prescription from a physician before starting therapy. This eliminates delays for people who could benefit from physical therapy in getting the timely, effective care they need from a qualified physical therapist (PT).

Is Your Physical Therapist Able to Pinpoint the Cause of Your Pain?

Is the clinical diagnosis of the cause of your pain reliable if you get that information from your physical therapist? The answer is absolutely yes.

In fact, physical therapists are able to independently evaluate, diagnose and treat patients within the scope of your physiotherapy. They are well prepared to identify symptoms and oftentimes can help remedy your pain. And if not, they can refer you to a physician or specialist as needed. They are trained to determine when your injury or condition is outside the scope of their work and refer you to a physician who can help.

There’s a great deal of research to suggest that physical therapists are actually better at accurately diagnosing their patients. Compared to non-orthopedic healthcare providers, physical therapists are more accurate at correctly diagnosing patients with musculoskeletal pain and injuries.

If you see a physical therapist first, you’re more likely to get an accurate diagnosis.

Why Should You See Your Physical Therapist First for Musculoskeletal Pain?

Physical therapy isn’t just less invasive than surgical options or other treatments; it’s less expensive too. You’ll potentially see increased cost savings and eliminate unnecessary suffering if you opt to see a physical therapist first. It’s estimated that these cost savings can be as much as $2,700 if you seek out physical therapy first.

It’s not just that you are potentially evading the need for surgery. You also may be avoiding medical imaging, follow-up appointments, medications, costly specialist referrals and other interventions like injections, which all can make a major dent in your calendar and your wallet. You also may dodge the inconvenience and expense of missing more days of work or being admitted to the hospital thanks to a worsening condition by not seeking care.

When you work with a physical therapist as your first treatment option, you’ll find better outcomes, less subsequent care needed and a faster return to full function. It’s a wise choice.

Working with a True Sports physical therapist, you also get faster access to care. We’ll schedule you quickly to get started on the road to recovery, which can have a big impact on how well you heal.

In this study of older adults with back pain, the group that had early physical therapy interventions had increased odds of a 50-percent improvement in function or pain after 12 months compared to those who did not get physical therapy or sought out a physical therapist later. Both of these groups only saw a 30-percent improvement in function and pain.

Get a Free Assessment From a Qualified Professional

You shouldn’t have to muscle through your pain on your own or wait for days to hear back from your physician’s office, only to get unclear answers or inconvenient solutions.

If you’ve never seen a physical therapist or you’re unsure about physical therapy but you are currently experiencing musculoskeletal pain, we want to help. We’ll evaluate your condition and help you come up with a rehabilitation plan to ease your pain.

With locations throughout Baltimore and Maryland, we’re right in your neighborhood to provide you with the care you need with ease and efficiency. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and learn more about what we can do for you.