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  • '7 Myths About Physical Therapy' Released – Now It's Debunking Time

    Q: Which of the following statements is true?

    "Physical therapy is painful."

    "Physical therapy is only for injuries and accidents."

    "Any health professional can perform physical therapy."

    A: None of them. In fact, they're among the "7 Myths About Physical Therapy" that need to be debunked.

    During National Physical Therapy Month (NPTM), APTA and its members will be engaging in a public education campaign to counter those myths with a good dose of reality. Joining the myths mentioned above are common misconceptions about referrals, insurance coverage, the need for surgery in all cases, and self-administered physical therapy.

    This campaign is supported by a national online advertising effort that will reach out to baby boomers, women over 50, people recovering from injury, those with a healthy and active lifestyle, and those experiencing joint and muscle pain. Ads will run on various websites, including Health.com, and will link to www.MoveForwardPT.com/NPTM, where visitors can find more information and a physical therapist in their area.

    Go to www.apta.org/NPTM for tools to help you plan and promote this campaign during your NPTM events. Available resources include web ads as well as a “myths" infographic, factsheet, and article. You’ll also find tips on how you can use these resources.

    When myths grow, care suffers. Take this opportunity to educate consumers by challenging fallacy with fact. Show them what you really do, and how physical therapy changes individual lives and transforms society.

    NYT: College Football Education, Reporting of Concussions 'Uneven'

    A recent article in the New York Times that pulls together 3 related studies on how—and if—college football players report concussions characterizes efforts to raise concussion awareness as "uneven."

    The October 3 article (and an in-print variation published on October 4) looks at studies that appeared recently in the Journal of Neurotrauma (abstract only available for free) and the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics (2 articles, abstracts here and here). Reporter Ken Belson writes that the studies, based on surveys of college players during 2012, "concluded that for every diagnosed concussion, players sustained 6 substantial hits that they suspected might have caused a concussion but did not report."

    According to the article, researchers found that among positions, offensive lineman were least likely to report a concussion, with a ratio of 1 report for every 8 possible concussions.

    Researchers used the same dataset to look at the effectiveness of efforts to educate players on the importance of reporting head injuries, and according to the NYT report found the results to be "inconsistent," with 40% of players reporting that they did not recall ever receiving information about reporting concussion symptoms.

    APTA has been active in its advocacy for research on brain injury, and was one of the organizations that supported the TBI Reauthorization Act recently approved in both houses of Congress. Additionally, the association is promoting the Protecting Student Athletes From Concussions Act (H.R. 3532) (.pdf), and concussion management awareness was the focus of this year's student-led Flash Action Strategy, which resulted in the largest concussion-related grassroots effort in APTA history.

    Check out APTA's TBI webpage for resources that include continuing education courses and links to other interest groups.