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  • More Than 800K Messages Call for an End to the Therapy Cap

    Physical therapists (PTs), physical therapist assistants (PTAs), and their supporters harnessed the power of social media to help generate more than 876,000 social media messages sent simultaneously to call for an end to the Medicare therapy cap. The impressive November 4 blast was part of a grassroots effort to bring even more energy to the issue now that Congress faces a deadline fewer than 60 days away.

    PTs and PTAs were part of 2,012 people who used a technology called Thunderclap that leverages individual social media accounts for a 1-time simultaneous blast to all participants' friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter. The event was designed to draw attention to the therapy cap issue as the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees work on legislation that could include an end to the caps and the sustainable growth rate (SGR).

    APTA is urging members to visit the Legislative Action Center to find out how to add their voices to the campaign to end the therapy cap, while patients and nonmembers can access APTA's Patient Action Center to learn how to help. Details on the therapy cap and APTA’s grassroots campaign to end it are available at APTA's Advocacy webpage.

    Quadriceps Atrophy Present in Patients With PFP

    A recently published literature review and meta-analysis has determined that there may be a link between patellofemoral pain (PFP) and quadriceps atrophy, and authors believe the findings "support the rationale for use of quadriceps strengthening as part of a rehabilitation program for PFP."

    The analysis, published in the November 2013 issue of the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, reviewed 10 studies that focused on patients with PFP and no coexisting pathology. Measurement of quadriceps size was obtained with a tape measure, through ultrasound, or by way of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and all studies included baseline data.

    The study's authors found that the presence of atrophy was more reliably detected through imaging techniques than with girth measurements but that the atrophy did exist to such an extent that quadriceps-strengthening exercises could be "an important consideration" in rehabilitation. Authors acknowledge that this suggestion differs from research that "has led many clinicians to shift their focus toward more proximal factors in PFP rehabilitation."

    PFP is common, particularly among young athletes, and accounts for as much as 25% of all reported knee pain. APTA's guide to PFP recognizes the role that quadriceps-strengthening may play in rehabilitation and provides information on PFP that PTs can share with patients. More broadly focused information on knee pain is also available at the PT's guide to knee pain webpage.