#ChoosePT - NATIONAL PHYSICAL THERAPY MONTH
The presence of pain is one of the most common reasons people seek health care. National surveys have found that chronic pain-defined as pain lasting longer than 3 months-affects approximately 100 million American adults and that the economic costs attributable to such pain approach $600 billion annually.
Pain has been described in the medical literature as a "uniquely individual and subjective experience" and "among the most controversial and complex" medical conditions to manage. The source of pain for any individual can vary, whether it's an underlying illness such as heart disease or cancer, an injury experienced recently or long ago, or the lingering effects of a medical procedure. Regardless, a report on the subject by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) notes that pain and its treatment "can be a lifelong challenge at the individual level and is a significant public health problem."
The treatment of pain, particularly chronic pain, often requires an integrated, multidisciplinary approach due to the many variables that may contribute to a patient's perception of pain and response to treatment. These variables can include the underlying cause(s) of the pain and the anticipated course of that condition, the available and accessible options for pain prevention and treatment, and the patient's personal goals, values, and expectations of health care. When individuals enter the health care system because of pain, their prospects for recovery—both immediate and long-term—are highly dependent on the system's response.
Physical therapy is a dynamic profession with an established theoretical and scientific basis for therapeutic interventions capable of restoring, maintaining, and promoting optimal physical function. Physical therapists work both independently and as members of multidisciplinary health