frequently asked questions
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We would love to talk with you about how LatitudePT can help with your injury or concern. I became a physical therapist to make a difference, but the utilization of physical therapy in the United States is extremely poor. About 50% of people in the United States have musculoskeletal pain that lasts longer than three months, but less than 10% of them go to physical therapy. This is extremely disappointing considering physical therapy is the best choice for musculoskeletal concerns when compared to surgeries, injections, and medications that many times do more harm than good. Doubly concerning when we realize that nearly 50% of people in the United States have one or more preventable chronic diseases that could be treated by diet and exercise. Since half of the people in the U.S. are suffering from musculoskeletal pain, physical therapy could make a massive impact on getting people moving again.
The problem is the United States spends the majority of its annual $3 trillion in healthcare costs on treating chronic diseases instead of trying to prevent them. Physical therapy should play a bigger part in keeping Americans moving pain-free and empowering them to lead a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, the U.S. does not invest much in preventative measures like physical therapy. On top of that, the numbers show physicians rarely refer to physical therapy (only 7% of the time for complaints of low back pain), and until recently patients in Texas had to acquire a prescription before starting physical therapy. For many years we were one of the only professions that didn't have the right to determine for ourselves if a particular case was within our scope of practice. Even today, current laws only permit Texas physical therapists 10 days before being required to obtain a referral to continue treating their patients.
How does all of this affect the public perception of physical therapy, and ultimately the utilization of physical therapy? The system simply does not make preventative measures easily accessible, and insurance-based physical therapy is often much more expensive than most people thought it would be. I believe these reasons are why most people put off physical therapy as long as they can, and then try to stay for as little as possible. In fact, only about 35% of people complete their plans of care for the number of visits recommended by their physical therapist. LatitudePT strives to provide a solution to musculoskeletal pain that is effective, affordable, and transparent in its pricing so that more people will choose physical therapy first, thus lowering the overall cost of healthcare and improving the quality of life in our communities. Join the #RootsMvmt and see how LatitudePT can help you today!
Dr. Chris Gumbs, PT, DPT, ICDN
Physical Therapist & Running Specialist