Blog Post

What’s National Physical Therapy Month?

October is National Physical Therapy Month, and there are several reasons why you should care.

Ryan Giebel
5 min read
October 7, 2023
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October is about more than just ghosts and ghouls or witches and skeletons (although those are awfully fun this time of year.) It’s also a chance to celebrate the folks who know more about the skeleton—and all those muscles that attach to it—than just about anyone else: physical therapists. 

In case you haven’t heard by now, October is National Physical Therapy Month (NPTM). Every October, rehab therapy organizations across the country take a minute to highlight what physical therapy (PT) is and why it is so essential to patients' lives. So, to help you get in the spirit of the month—pun intended—let’s jump into what it is and why you should be celebrating National Physical Therapy Month.

Broadcasting Awareness for PT 

If you’re checking out this blog, odds are pretty good that you’re well-acquainted with the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).  You also probably know that the APTA loves to celebrate NPTM—understandable for a ground dedicated to advocating for the profession. Every October, they kick off a new campaign to raise awareness, complete with downloadable content you can share with patients or on social media. This year’s campaign is “Value of PT,” highlighting how PTs can help improve patients’ quality of life and offer lasting health benefits. Of course, the APTA is just one group flying the flag for PT this month.

Sharing the Fun in Physical Therapy

Here’s where I get the chance to sing PT’s praises to a receptive audience. I should probably disclose that I’m a PT myself, and as such am hopelessly biased on the subject. So I’ll do my best to keep my professional pride in check when I say that generally speaking, your average PT is a pretty fun person for patients to get to know. 

Patients' interactions with medical doctors and their staff (nurses, physician assistants, or medical technologists) can be short, terse, and sometimes impersonal. Part of that is the nature of the work; most patients see their general practitioner once or twice a year, provided they’re relatively healthy.  PTs and physical therapy assistants, on the other hand, have the benefit of spending hours together with patients over the course of several weeks or more. So, patients should take advantage of the time they get with a medical expert and have some fun while working towards recovery.

Spreading the Word About Movement Experts

Physical therapists are the premier movement experts. Whether you're suffering from a specific injury, a chronic disease, a surgery, or you just want to feel better when you get up from the couch, PTs know the right movements just for you.

That said, as important as PTs are (and they’re very important, to be clear), they’re just the tip of the spear in terms of knowing how best to get anyone moving.  Within PT are a number of specialists who focus on certain areas of treatment for very specific needs. Just look at the ten board certifications available to physical therapists—whether you're looking for a specialist in sports, cardiopulmonary conditions, orthopaedics, or others, there is a movement specialist available for your needs.

Showing the Financial Benefits of Physical Therapy

Healthcare costs continue to rise, and many patients are often left feeling helpless as insurance companies raise deductibles, premiums, and copays. Luckily, there is one stat that has me particularly excited. A recent APTA study found that PT provided a net benefit for patients and the healthcare system for eight specific conditions compared to other treatment options. In other words, the patients and their insurance providers saved money, used fewer healthcare services, avoided surgery, or had an overall gain in quality of life.

I decided to become a PT because the idea of healing with my hands instead of a knife or drug excited me. In an era where health and wellness are back center-stage, I think there is some traction with that thought today more than ever. So, if you are a PT or PTA, pat yourself on the back. If you’re reading this and know some PTs and PTAs, give them a fist bump and say, “Thanks.” Lastly, remember to ChoosePT, and make sure to spread the word that October is National Physical Therapy Month. 


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