Celebrate National Physical Therapy Month in October

Group exercise and rehabilitation class.
Physical therapy in a small group setting can have many benefits. Getty Images

National Physical Therapy Month is celebrated in the United States each October. The goal of the month-long celebration is to raise awareness of the important role that physical therapists and physical therapy assistants play in helping people decrease pain, improve mobility, and engage in healthy lifestyles.

The History of National Physical Therapy Month

Initially, National Physical Therapy Week was celebrated each June starting in 1981.

In 1992, the week was moved to October so as to not conflict with the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) national conference in June. It was then declared that the entire month of October would be designated National Physical Therapy Month. National Physical Therapy Month is a recognized observance on the National Health Observances Calendar.

National Physical Therapy Month Themes

Each year, the APTA selects a theme to be the main focus of National Physical Therapy Month. While all aspects of physical therapy are celebrated each October, specific emphasis is placed on the theme for the month-long celebration.

Past themes have focused on many physical therapy specialties, including low back pain, posture, balance, fitness and obesity, and sports injury prevention.

In 2016, the APTA will celebrate National Physical Therapy Month with a focus on their Choose PT campaign. This campaign, with the social media hashtag #ChoosePT, highlights the ways your physical therapist can help play a major role in helping to manage the opioid epidemic that currently faces our country.

Physical therapists can help people live healthy, pain-free lifestyles without the need of addictive opioid medication.

Typically, the theme for National Physical Therapy Month is announced in the late summer, and pre-kick off activites are planned for late September to start to get PTs excited about the events of the month.

How Is National Physical Therapy Month Celebrated?

If you have been a physical therapy patient during the month of October, there is a good chance that the clinic you went to was celebrating National Physical Therapy Month. Often, staff members wear shirts with the APTA logo, and many times small gifts are given to patients promoting the month.

The APTA also has specific PT Month logos for free use by members of the organization. These logos can be used electronically on websites or on signage during the month of October to increase community outreach.

During National Physical Therapy Month physical therapists are encouraged to engage their communities in activities to promote healthy lifestyles and to raise awareness of the importance of physical therapy. Clinics may hold special events like posture screenings, balance assessments, or fun runs to get the community involved in fitness and exercise.

National Physical Therapy Month is a wonderful opportunity for physical therapists to educate the public about the role that physical therapists play in helping to manage pain, improve mobility, and restore function. Be sure to visit your local physical therapist in October to see what he or she may have planned for National Physical Therapy Month.

Source: www.apta.org

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