Outwit The Waiting Game: Get Yourself Physical Therapy First

Outwit The Waiting Game: Get PT First

Ever feel like you spend half your life trying to hurry things up, just to find yourself sitting around waiting on someone or something else?

Perhaps yes. Perhaps no. The “waiting game” seems to be a normal part of the ebb and flow of small business, the process of making a large investment, the time it takes to close a deal.

The same waiting game seems also to apply to our healthcare system as I have personally discovered. How long does one have to wait to see the doctor?  Get approved by insurance? Wait to get an MRI? Wait to find out if there truly is a ‘real’ problem. And even beyond that, there is a bit of the waiting game when it comes to recovery from an injury.

Ahhh the wait….

And believe me, seriously, I understand the game. Over the last year I sustained a pretty solid back injury. I waited for 9 months before deciding to undergo surgery. And my favorite of the 9 months - hold your breath - I got to wait for 5 weeks for my insurance to approve physical therapy before surgery, and another 5 weeks before I was approved to go to physical therapy after surgery. Yup, that was my favorite part - waiting 10 weeks total just to get some pain relief and get going with my recovery from a physical therapy standpoint.

Virginia Mason Hospital, in Seattle, WA recently figured out that sending patients with low back pain to physical therapy first as opposed to sending patients’ on a wild goose chase through multiple practitioners, pain medications and imaging studies had significantly positive results (check out the article from the Wall Street Journal here). Too bad they all can’t be west coast girls (or hospitals).

So here’s my suggestion:

If you are in pain, and you are sitting around waiting to get some relief, waiting on your insurance, waiting for the overbooked hospital based PT clinic to see you, etc. etc. You may find solace in cutting to the chase and seeing a physical therapist while you wait. I recommend committing to getting started on your recovery while you wait on your insurance to pick up the slack. 

You may be able to gain a lot from simply consulting online with a physical therapist first, especially if you have questions that weren't answered in your 6 minute doctor's visit. And, if you were simply offered pain medication for your symptoms, talking with a PT can help you figure out safe movement patterns that will support you during your recovery and hopefully keep you off/away from the painkillers (which are a HUGE risk to your health).

You won’t need a doctor’s prescription for the first 12 visits or 45 days of PT, so you can check that off your list. We offer you a superbill you can submit to your insurance if needed. Our hope is to get you better, get back out there, so that you can enjoy your life and get back in the ocean. Who wants to wait any longer?? 

Surfer’s Edge Physical Therapy and Wellness email at [email protected] phone 888-479-8777.

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