Direct Access - Who has access to Physical Therapy?

Direct Access to PHysical Therapy

In the state of Nevada, you have direct access to physical therapy services!1 Many patients we have seen in the physical therapy clinic do not realize they are able to access us first on a self-referral basis, which would save you time waiting weeks or even months to see your primary care physician or physician specialist for a referral. Did you know, only 7% of individuals with low back pain seek physical therapy treatment first after given a referral from their physician.2 Why not get a head start on solving your pain and limited function? We are often left with the question, "Should I make sure it is not more serious than a musculoskeletal contributor," or "Should I have an image taken first so you know what's wrong?". A study completed recently, found no instances of unidentified cases of serious medical problem or adverse events, which was assessed over the course of a ten year period with almost 13,000 patients on a college campus.3 Not only is it safe and effective to seek physical therapy first, it has been shown in various research studies how much physical therapy can save you money. Most of us wouldn't mind a little extra spending money! In one study, early utilization of physical therapy reduced costs by 50%, which approximates to $2736! These savings have been reproduced in other studies as well,4,5 one showing those who started with a physical therapy referral lowered their costs up to 66% on average over the course of a year.5 Insurance companies, unfortunately, are shifting the financial burden to the consumer, and we find it imperative to utilize the cost effective approach to managing your musculoskeletal pain.6 As opioid use is on the rise,6 we want to give you the tools to not rely on expensive, addictive medication for pain relief. We can provide care within a multitude of areas; check our "Services" tab out, which can be directly found here. You can also contact us here to schedule a free phone consultation!

What should you expect at your first visit? We provide a 30-40 minute one on one physical therapist - patient examination. This will include a conversation about your injury/symptoms, your personal goals for physical therapy, and a thorough movement-based assessment. After the examination process, patient education is provided on what we believe is the contributor to your symptoms as well as the plan to achieve your goals. To start you off toward your goals, we will provide you with a few appropriate evidence-based interventions, which are never a cookie-cutter program but rather based off the patient's presentation. Our treatment philosophy emphasizes an "active hands-on approach" while enlisting patient participation in the recovery process and empowering you with knowledge by teaching self-management and injury prevention. We look forward to being a part of your rehabilitation process and we encourage you to email us or call us to set up a consultation today.

Written By: Dakota Ezell, PT/DPT
1. Welcome to PT in NV - Nevada Physical Therapy Association. Nvaptaorg. 2018. Available at:
2. Fritz JM, Childs JD, Wainner RS, Flynn TW. Primary care referral of patients with low back pain to physical therapy: impact on future health care utilization and costs. Spine. 2012;37(25):2114-21.
3. Mintken PE, Pascoe SC, Barsch AK, Cleland JA. Direct Access to Physical Therapy Services Is Safe in a University Student Health Center Setting. J Allied Health. 2015;44(3):164-8.
4. Denninger TR, Cook CE, Chapman CG, Mchenry T, Thigpen CA. The Influence of Patient Choice of First Provider on Costs and Outcomes: Analysis From a Physical Therapy Patient Registry. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2017;:1-26.
5. Fritz JM, Childs JD, Wainner RS, Flynn TW. Primary care referral of patients with low back pain to physical therapy: impact on future health care utilization and costs. Spine. 2012;37(25):2114-21.
6. Zheng P, Kao MC, Karayannis NV, Smuck M. Stagnant Physical Therapy Referral Rates Alongside Rising Opioid Prescription Rates in Patients With Low Back Pain in the United States 1997-2010. Spine. 2017;42(9):670-674.

Questions? Contact us!