How to Celebrate National Physical Therapy Awareness Month

Physical Therapy Awareness Month is in October, and we look forward to recognizing the incredible work of our amazing Allied Healthcare Professionals.

Each year, the APTA chooses a focal health theme that pertains to physical therapy for the celebration.

Examples of past themes include:

  • Obesity
  • Lower back pain
  • Posture
  • Balance

We always look forward to celebrating the important, life-changing work performed by Physical Therapists!



Physical Therapy Month Activities: #ChoosePT

This year, the APTA will honor Physical Therapists with a national campaign called #ChoosePT.

By providing a variety of physical therapy month activities, APTA and those who participate will focus their energy on educating the public about alternatives to opioid use and informing how physical therapy offers a natural, safe, and effective alternative for pain management.

Raising awareness will:

  • keep people healthy
  • saving lives by reducing opioid use
  • combat the socially devastating impact of the opioid epidemic

Let’s further explore Physical Therapy as an alternative to opioid use.


Physical Therapy Month Ideas: The Alternative

There are a variety of illnesses that rely on opioids, such as patients receiving cancer treatment, palliative care, or end-of-life care. For most patients who do not fall into those categories, physical therapy is the right alternative.

There are many physical therapy month ideas to consider when the goal is overcoming opioid reliance.

Oftentimes injury to the musculoskeletal system is the driver behind a prescription to opioids, as well as a referral to your trusted Physical Therapist.

Musculoskeletal problems range from arthritis and sprained joints to broken bones and congenital disorders.

Physical Therapists use a variety of medical techniques to heal the body, thereby overcoming pain associated with a former injury.

They do this by:

  • Designing and helping patients perform exercise programs to correct posture, strengthen muscles, and improve range of motion
  • Teaching patients how to avoid overexerting themselves and damaging their bodies
  • Performing various forms of massage therapy including deep tissue massage, trigger point massage, and myofascial relief therapy to improve circulation, promote healing, and reduce pain
  • Applying various treatments such as hydrotherapy, ultrasound therapy, laser therapy, electrotherapy, and various hot and cold wraps to promote healing and reduce pain

SEE ALSO: Future of Physical Therapy Profession: 6 Exciting Career Insights

Perhaps one of the most important aspects of using physical therapy is the element of control it provides the patient.

Physical Therapy as a method of pain relief allows patients to actively participate in their treatment. This provides them with “a say” in their recovery process.

Most importantly, Physical Therapy aims to heal patients of their painful ailments, therefore reducing or eliminating the need for pharmaceutical painkillers.

Physical Therapy aims to heal patients of their painful ailments, therefore reducing or eliminating the need for pharmaceutical painkillers.

How to Celebrate National Physical Therapy Awareness Month

So, how do you properly honor those who have cared for others through the Physical Therapy profession? Well, we’ll give you two ways!

First things first – let’s start with celebration.

If you’re a Physical Therapist or a Physical Therapy Assistant, take some time to reflect on and celebrate the good work you do. If your family member or friend is the PT, October is the time to shower them with appreciation!

The work that you do is something you should absolutely celebrate—even if it’s just once a year!

Along with celebration, we focus on awareness.

The medical professionals who have dedicated their lives to Physical Therapy inherently know what their work can accomplish. During National Physical Therapy Awareness Month, we want to make sure everyone knows.

If you’re a Physical therapist or Physical Therapist Assistant, you can head over to the APTA’s National Physical Therapy Month Page for some suggestions on how to do this.

For example, you can download the #ChoosePT logo and use it in a variety of places like on your:

  • Website
  • Social media
  • Print materials such as stickers and brochures
  • Company marketing materials such as pens, t-shirts or buttons

You can also encourage your patients to share their experiences with physical therapy to manage pain in APTA’s upcoming publication on #ChoosePT.



It’s Time to Celebrate

Celebrate yourself or the important Physical Therapist in your life by taking time to acknowledge the important work achieved through consistency and perseverance.

Raise awareness by participating in the #ChoosePT campaign, volunteering your time, and educating others about the benefits of PT!



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