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National Physical Therapy Month

October is National Physical Therapy Month!

In October we want you to know the many ways physical therapists and physical therapist assistants can help improve your quality of life by restoring and improving your ability to move.

If you are one of many people who experience low back pain, for example, a physical therapist can help. If you have had a running injury or want to maintain your ability to run as you age, a physical therapist can help. If you are experiencing Bell palsy, diabetes, frozen shoulder, or pelvic pain, to name but a few conditions, a physical therapist can help.

According to the 2011 "AARP Bulletin Survey on Exercise," approximately 7 in 10 adults age 45 and older (71%) are physically active. If you are a baby boomer, physical therapists can help you stay physically active, including helping you deal with common injuries associated with aging, such as tendinitis and meniscus tears as well as the effects of arthritis.

Beginning October 1 and continuing through November 19, APTA will be hosting its "50 Days 50 Ways" challenge. During this challenge we will be providing 50 days worth of tips to boomers on how to prevent injury and get and/or stay fit and mobile with the help of a physical therapist. Check them out on Facebook and Twitter!

Please browse the APTA website to learn about the many ways a physical therapist can restore your ability to move. In many cases, a physical therapist can work with you to manage or eliminate pain without medication and its side effects. Physical therapy may even be an alternative to surgery, in many cases. A physical therapist will examine you and develop a plan of care using treatment techniques to promote your ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability.

Physical therapists are required to complete a graduate degree-either a master's or clinical doctorate-from an accredited education program and pass a state-administered national exam before practicing. By 2015, all physical therapists will graduate with a doctor of physical therapy (DPT) degree.

If you are looking for an evidence-based, cost-effective, conservative approach to health care, then a physical therapist may be right for you. To find a physical therapist near where you live or work, please use the "Find a PT" feature on our website. To submit a question to a physical therapist expert, please see "Ask a Physical Therapist." And don't forget to 'like' us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

We encourage you to participate in a National Physical Therapy Month event in your community. Let us show you how physical therapists can get you moving and enjoying life again!

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Paul A. Rockar Jr, PT, DPT, MS
President, American Physical Therapy Association