Self-referral for Physical Therapy: An investment in your Health

2018 was a watershed year for physical therapy in Illinois because Direct Access to Physical Therapy finally became state law. Just as you can make an appointment with your doctor when you’re sick or your dentist when a tooth hurts, you can now visit your physical therapist when you have pain or dysfunction in your joints and muscles.

Direct access means no longer requiring a doctor’s prescription for PT; you may now “self-refer.” Of course, there are exceptions depending on your insurance (some companies still require physician referral), but in any case, at Creative Therapeutics, you can always come in for a free consult to talk about your concerns and determine what may be required.

Is it Safe? Absolutely. To date there is no data suggesting that self-referral to physical therapy treatment puts patients at risk. Physical therapists are the medical community’s experts on musculoskeletal movement, and they still work together with your doctors to make sure you receive the best care. Not only are PTs trained to help patients safely and efficiently return to optimal movement, they’re also trained to recognize warning signs that may require further medical testing like bloodwork or imaging, or a surgical consultation; if so, they will refer you to your doctor immediately. Likewise, if your PT determines you need treatment beyond the original time frame, your doctor will be notified.

Is it expensive? There is no data that shows self-referral for physical therapy incurs any more health care cost than physician referral. Indeed, physical therapy may be the best preventative care for your health care dollar. Being able to see your physical therapist today to address pain, stiffness, or soreness may reduce your risk of injury or developing more serious conditions later on.

Why physical therapy? Physical therapy addresses underlying causes of pain and injury. Our country is experiencing a devastating opioid crisis, and the medical community is re-evaluating an over-reliance on prescription medications. Here at Creative Therapeutics, getting you better is just part of what we do. Educating you about how your body works and teaching you new ways to understand your condition is part of our mission. This means long-lasting, sometimes even life-changing outcomes for our patients. “I wish I’d had known this 20 years ago!” is a common exclamation we hear.

Don’t wait 20 years–invest in your health today. You might be amazed how much difference physical therapy can make to your quality of life!

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