“National Physical Therapy Month” is observed in the month of October each year in the United States. Sponsored by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), this month-long campaign aims to recognize and raise awareness about the important role that physical therapists and physical therapy assistants play in helping people manage pain, improve mobility and lead a healthy and active life.
This October the focus is on “Healthy Aging” which signifies the many ways that physical therapists, as movement experts, can help individuals overcome pain, maintain mobility and preserve their independence as they age.
Mobility is a key factor to remaining active and independent throughout your life. Reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that more than one-third of adults aged 65 and older suffer falls each year and about 20-30% suffer from moderate to severe injuries related to these falls. One of the most effective ways to treat chronic pain and recover from injuries is physical therapy. It can also help seniors prevent falls and maintain overall fitness.
Physical therapists now play an important role in pain management. In addition to providing therapy to help patients stretch or strengthen weak muscles after an injury or surgery, they evaluate and diagnose potential problems before they lead to more serious injuries or disabling conditions. Physical therapy can help prevent chronic conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, frozen shoulder, neck pain, headaches and lower back pain.
The American Physical Therapy Association’s (APTA) #AgeWell campaign highlights important things that adults can do with the help of a physical therapist, to age well. Adequate amount of physical activity can prevent or delay many symptoms and conditions often associated with aging. As part of the campaign, special events like posture screenings, balance assessments or fun runs are being organized to get the community involved in fitness and exercise.
Initially, National Physical Therapy Week was celebrated each year in the month of June starting 1981. Later, in 1992, this week-long event was extended to a full-month and October was designated as the official month for this campaign. Over the years, this campaign has grown in popularity and is now a recognized celebration in the National Health Observances Calendar.
Join National Physical Therapy Month celebration. Make use of this opportunity to educate the public about the pivotal role physical therapists play in helping to manage pain, improve mobility, and restore function.