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  • APTA House Backs Federal Anti-Opioid Efforts in No Uncertain Terms

    In a vote that left no room for doubt, the APTA House of Delegates (House) added its official support to federal-level efforts to combat the opioid abuse and heroin use epidemic. The unanimous decision by the APTA's highest policy-making body comes just 1 day after the association launched its own national campaign to promote physical therapy as an effective alternative to opioids for the treatment of pain.

    The motion approved by the House formally endorses the national efforts of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the White House to address the epidemic of opioid abuse and dependence, as well as the CDC's recognition of physical therapist services as an alternative to opioids for managing pain. Announcement of the unanimous decision was met with cheers from the House.

    The timing of the House decision couldn't be better. APTA has been in collaboration with the White House to address the opioid crisis, and this week launched #ChoosePT, its own public education campaign to raise awareness among patients and prescribers about physical therapy as a safe alternative for pain management.

    "The House's endorsement of the CDC and White House efforts underlines the importance of this issue," said APTA President Sharon L. Dunn, PT, PhD, in an APTA news release. "The House motion evolved from an organic effort to support the fight against opioid abuse in line with the #ChoosePT campaign. I am pleased and excited to see such strong unity and support. We are better together, and I am sure this will help strengthen the efforts of the CDC and the White House, expand our reach, and ultimately put an end to this national crisis."

    The decision was reached at the 72nd annual meeting of the House, being held this week in Nashville in conjunction with APTA's NEXT Conference and Exposition. For more information on APTA's #ChoosePT campaign, contact the association's public relations department.


    • Be careful what you are asking - many patients live better Lives because they have access to opiate medications. Intractable pain secondary to arthritis, diabetes and other non-member lethal diseases can be meaningfully treated with opiates. The HOD should not headlong throw itself into controlling opiates but rather help in the illegal trafficking of these drugs.

      Posted by Jose Montirey on 6/8/2016 1:36 PM

    • Some patients can do all the PT in the world but some disorders still cause crippling severe pain that PT does not even help. I have done a few inpatient stays for Rehab and there were many of times I was in too much pain to do my therapy session and the PT or OT had to page my nurse to have her bring her my Hydrocodone.What are those patients suppose to do??

      Posted by Ashley Reber on 6/8/2016 4:00 PM

    • Affordable copays would go a long way to allowing access to PT services. Until patients can access our specialty in a timely fashion and attend at a frequency to improve their symptons #Choose PT rings hollow.

      Posted by Dorothy E. Foigelman-Holland on 6/8/2016 8:55 PM

    • I find it ironic that over the last several years our therapists have been receiving denials on claims for using hot/cold pack treatment to reduce pain. The documentation noted decreases in pain levels reported as well as a reduction in pain medication taken. The practice of incorporating these modalities along with exercise, stretching are deemed non skilled and not of a complexity demonstrating skilled services. Simple is sometimes a good thing, I must be old school. :)

      Posted by Thomas Norton -> =JVbBH on 6/9/2016 2:50 PM

    • We need to be better at meeting patient's needs when we treat them. Too often, patients only get exercise instruction. To prevent and treat chronic pain, we need to put our hands on patients and resolve soft tissue and joint restrictions along with gradual progression of therapeutic exercise to a higher level than what their daily needs require. We also need to educate in self Tx, proper body mechanics and pacing as well as the HEP. We need to be better!!

      Posted by Mary Fridlund -> ?FQbC on 6/9/2016 7:15 PM

    • We need to educate the Physicians on #ChoosePT as they will continue writing scripts for opioids and sending patients to pain management before sending to physical therapy!

      Posted by Joe McGilvrey on 6/17/2017 3:19 PM

    • I went for PT before my knee replacement and after. I needed both. But I wouldn’t have been able to get to or get thru the sessions without the pain medication I was given. I don’t understand why you have to disparage a necessary tool in medicine to build up your importance. Both PT and opioids are wonderful when prescribed correctly.

      Posted by Bonnie Ralli on 1/25/2020 3:42 PM

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