You Have Power; The Power of Choice, The Power to Heal

Submitted by: Dr. Aaron LeBauer PT, DPT

No Prescription Necessary

Did you know that in 44 states, including the District of Columbia, you can see a physical therapist directly, without a referral from a physician? Did you also know that physical therapy is a great alternative to pain medications?

Eliminating Pain without Medication

Many types of pain and inflammation, including low back pain, neck pain, bursitis, sciatica, arthritis, tennis elbow, and knee pain, can be reduced with the help of a physical therapist. Lower back pain is the #1 cause of missed work in the United States and affects up to 80 percent of Americans during their lifetime. Physical therapy that moves the spine along with specific exercises to stabilize your core can help alleviate the pain and can have long-lasting effe


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In one study manual physical therapy helped 92% of patients with low back pain.

The American Heart Association encourages people who are at risk of heart disease to see a physical therapist for the initial treatment of pain resulting from tendinitis, bursitis and arthritis, rather than use prescription pain medication. For musculoskeletal pain, treatment by a licensed and trained physical therapist is a great alternative to medication and surgery. Research shows that people who receive manual physical therapy experience larger improvements in function and decreased pain intensity.

No matter what part of your body hurts, neck, back, knee, hip, shoulder, arms, hands or head, a physical therapist can help you alleviate or manage pain without costly medication or other invasive methods such as surgery.

Finding a Physical Therapist

Direct Access is your freedom of choice to see a physical therapist without the need to first see your physician. In 44 states, including the District of Columbia, you can see a physical therapist directly and do not need a prescription, referral or script for physical therapy from your physician. Direct Access permits you to seek treatment for your condition today, spending less money, and start on your path to feeling better and returning to your daily routine and the activities you love.

Physical Therapists are licensed by the state in which they practice and have completed extensive and specialized, post graduate level, accredited physical therapist education programs. Physical Therapists are trained in identifying red flags (signs that your condition is not appropriate for physical therapy) and know when to refer you to the appropriate health care practitioner or physician.

Research has shown that people who received treatment by a manual physical therapist within 16 days of the onset of low back pain get better faster and have significantly less pain after only a few visits.

When patients have direct access to physical therapy the overall cost of treatment is less for both the patient and the health care industry. Most health insurance plans cover direct access. When a physical therapist is the primary provider for musculoskeletal pain or injuries, patients have fewer office visits and imaging, receive treatment for their condition faster, while freeing primary care physicians to see patients who are more in need.

When you visit the physical therapist of your choice, you will be provided care by a trusted health professional that uses the latest research and proven treatment techniques to help you reclaim your independence and improve your quality of life. You can search for a manual physical therapist online at and when you contact your preferred physical therapist, ask if they use hands-on manual physical therapy techniques. For more information on how a physical therapist can help you reduce pain, avoid surgery and feel great, visit


About the Author: Aaron LeBauer PT, DPT, LMBT is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and a Licensed Massage and Bodywork Therapist. He owns LeBauer Physical Therapy with his wife Andra in Greensboro, NC and specializes in treating people who want to return to a pain free and healthy lifestyle. Visit