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PTJ: Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Journal isn't just the go-to resource to find the latest in research — it's also a great place to gain insight on emerging topics in the profession by way of the journal's perspective articles. Wide-ranging in focus, PTJ perspectives can introduce you to a unique facet of practice, expose you to a fresh take on the profession, or help you think about an ongoing issue in a new way.

Best of all, just like all other PTJ content, APTA members can access PTJ perspectives for free as a member benefit.

Haven't checked out a perspective yet? Here are three suggestions from recent issues of PTJ, all of which feature an emphasis on the psychological components of PT practice.

Could Technology Be the Key to More Psychologically Informed Practice?
It's widely accepted that psychologically informed physical therapy, or PiP, can result in better outcomes for patients with musculoskeletal pain compared with physical therapy alone. However, actual implementation can be difficult due to barriers including insufficient PT training, problems with referrals, and general complexity. This perspective from January 2023, explores the ways technology could help reduce these barriers and make PiP easier to employ. Authors look at the evidence for technology-enhanced PiP, how it might work, and what the future could hold.

Looking at Low Back Pain as an 'Information Problem'
First published in November 2022, this perspective explores the "Fit-for-Purpose" model for treatment of chronic nonspecific LBP. The key feature of the model, according to the perspective's authors, is that it places an emphasis on how the patient conceptualizes the part of their body in pain. Working from that model, they propose a treatment framework "that aims to shift internal models of a fragile, damaged, unhealthy, and unchangeable self toward the formulation of the back as healthy, strong, adaptable, and fit for purpose."

The Psychosocial Underpinnings of Persistent Post-concussion Symptoms
Persistent post-concussion symptoms, or PPCS, are often explained by way of biopsychosocial models, but arriving at a sufficient understanding of the psychosocial component of those models can sometimes be a challenge for PTs. Authors of this perspective shed light on this challenge by presenting two mini case studies and offering five tenets that help to explain PPCS from a psychological perspective. The article also includes recommendations on applying those tenets to PT practice.

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Study: Tailored Approach to Older Adults With LBP and Hip Pain Shows Promise

Feb 14, 2024

Researchers found that for adults 60 and older with both types of pain, focusing on the hips could be the key to better overall improvement.


From PTJ: Seeing PT or Chiropractor First for Low Back Pain Is Less Costly

Nov 10, 2023

Patients who first sought care from a physical therapist or chiropractor had fewer opioid prescriptions and MRIs after diagnosis.


PTJ: Cognitive Functional Therapy Shows Promise for Chronic LBP Post-Surgery

Oct 13, 2023

A small-scale study from Brazil points to lower levels of pain and higher function compared with a core exercise and manual approach.