Why Doctors Underprescribe Physiotherapy
According to a variety of sources under the U.S. National Institutes of Health, between 50 and 100 million adults suffer from chronic pain. And the Canadian Community Health Survey reports about 1 in 10 Canadians aged 14-44 also experience chronic pain.
Typically, the first place people go to seek diagnosis and treatment for chronic pain is their primary care physician. But we want people to know that their perspective may overlook the emerging role of physiotherapists in the initial assessment. A physiotherapy assessment isolates mechanical dysfunction that may be the underlying cause of the pain.
In the absence of an initial physiotherapy assessment for most common musculoskeletal complaints, patients often progress to expensive imaging diagnostics, pain medications, injections, and surgery.
We now have plenty of research showing that physiotherapy as the first line of intervention can change the treatment trajectory. That’s one of the reasons why more and more physicians are now starting to prescribe physiotherapy as part of the initial diagnosis and treatment plan.
There are many other reasons as well. Physiotherapy provides safe, medically supervised strength and conditioning appropriate for the patients unique level of fitness. This leads to less pain, increased range of motion, more stamina, and more activity. In addition, we now know that physiotherapy provides important benefits for patients preparing for orthopedic surgery.
Traditionally, physioththerapy has been something you do only when your doctor tells you to, but that’s changing. Today many people are seeking advice from a physiotherapist as part of their initial diagnosis and treatment effort.
To explore how a physiotherapy assessment may help you, we offer free screenings.