New Study Questions Safety of Whole-Body Vibration Platforms

Western University just released a study showing that whole-body vibration platforms—which are typically used to treat various musculoskeletal disorders—may cause damage to joint tissues. Researchers noted significant damage to subjects’ knee joints and spines after four weeks of undergoing whole-body vibration. While study leaders say there’s still a need for additional research on the subject, they advise that all rehabilitation practitioners take extreme caution when prescribing whole-body vibration.

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Study: Patients Benefit from Direct Access to Physical Therapy

A yearlong study published by the University Health System in San Antonio reveals that neuromuscular patients who received physical therapy treatment immediately experienced better outcomes and reduced costs compared to those who had to wait for a physician referral. The study also showed that patients who immediately visited a PT “..underwent half as many physical therapy procedures, MRIs, and CT scans as those referred to physical therapists to be seen at a later time.” Luckily, all 50 states have some form of direct access. However, in Texas—where the study was conducted—patients still must obtain a physician’s referral for most physical therapy treatment. Read more about this study here, and learn about your state’s direct access laws here.


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  • This Week in PT News, April 24 Image

    articleApr 24, 2015 | 2 min. read

    This Week in PT News, April 24

    Texas Bill Could Move PTs Closer to Total Direct Access A new bill in Texas could eliminate the need for a patient to obtain a doctor’s referral prior to receiving physical therapy services. House Bill 1263—which just passed the public health committee this week—gives physical therapists the green light to provide treatment for 45 days (or 20 visits) without a physician’s diagnosis. If enacted, this law would be great news for PTs in Texas. However, many professional …

  • This Week in PT News, June 5 Image

    articleJun 5, 2015 | 2 min. read

    This Week in PT News, June 5

    Depression May Lead to Low Back Pain Multiple studies now show that patients who suffer from depression are at an increased risk of developing lower back pain. Researchers analyzed a pool of data from 19 different studies, ultimately determining that symptoms of depression increased the risk of developing low back pain by around 60%. They cited multiple factors that could account for the link, including age, biological characteristics, lifestyle, and genetics. To find out more about the …

  • This Week in PT News, January 30 Image

    articleJan 30, 2015 | 1 min. read

    This Week in PT News, January 30

    Physical Therapy is Key to Improved ICU Outcomes While many researchers already know that rest is not always the best medicine, a new Johns Hopkins study reveals that initiating physical therapy early in the treatment process for Intensive Care Unit (ICU) patients benefits both patients and healthcare facilities. How? Well, a structured approach to quality improvement processes leads to sustainable improvement in patient outcomes and reduced hospital costs. Read more about this study here . Changes in …

  • This Week in PT News, August 1 Image

    articleAug 1, 2014 | 2 min. read

    This Week in PT News, August 1

    New Study Finds Physical Therapy Speeds up Concussion Recovery According to a recent study from the University of Calgary, post-concussion patients who completed a combined physical therapy program after an initial rest period of seven to ten days dramatically reduced the severity of their symptoms. Rather than participating in a standard vestibular rehabilitation program, patients in the study received a combined vestibular and cervical spine physical therapy program. The patients with the combined program saw a 73% …

  • This Week in PT News, January 2 Image

    articleJan 2, 2015 | 1 min. read

    This Week in PT News, January 2

    New Research Shows Exercise Could Have a Protective Effect A new study published in a Northern Arizona University news release claims that even one exercise session may help the body overcome stressors by boosting the antioxidant system. Researchers hope this study—paired with ongoing research—will help them identify the point in cellular processes at which age-related change happens. To find out more about this study, click here . Despite Slip in Sales, Outlook for Rehab Providers Remains Positive …

  • This Week in PT News, July 11 Image

    articleJul 11, 2014 | 2 min. read

    This Week in PT News, July 11

    Women’s Soccer Named the Most ACL Injury-Prone Sport New research shows that women soccer players are eight times more likely to tear their ACLs than their male counterparts. The study also concludes that women’s soccer is the most ACL injury-prone sport. Physical therapists say the key to combating ACL injuries is education and prevention. It’s also just as important to #GetPT after an ACL tear in order to prevent another one from occurring. Occupational Therapy Key to …

  • This Week in PT News, March 27 Image

    articleMar 27, 2015 | 2 min. read

    This Week in PT News, March 27

    House Passes SGR Fix, Extends Therapy Cap On March 26, the US House of Representatives passed a bill that would end the sustainable growth rate used to calculate doctors’ payments from Medicare. Unfortunately, this bill only includes a two-year extension of the therapy cap exceptions process rather than a full repeal of the cap. The bill is is expected to pass the Senate—and quickly—before Congress recesses early next week. Read more about this bill and how it …

  • This Week in PT News, December 12 Image

    articleDec 12, 2014 | 1 min. read

    This Week in PT News, December 12

    Common Knee Surgery May Increase Arthritis Risk A new study suggests a link between a common knee surgery and arthritis. Researchers found that all of the participants who had surgery to repair meniscal tears developed arthritis within one year. The study’s author—Dr. Frank Roemer—suggests meniscal surgery can cause more harm than good when it comes to the long-term health of the joint. As an alternative to surgery, patients should #GetPT to strengthen the knee and improve joint …

  • This Week in PT News, May 15 Image

    articleMay 15, 2015 | 2 min. read

    This Week in PT News, May 15

    Young ACL Surgery Patients Often Need Second Operation A new study from Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) reveals that patients who undergo ACL surgery before the age of 21 are more likely to have another knee surgery later on in life. Researchers found that “...8% of patients with a primary ACL reconstruction had another ACL surgery, and 14% had non-ACL knee surgery at a later date.” Shockingly, the average median time lapse between the two surgeries is …

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