31 MDOS celebrates National Physical Therapy Month

Physical Therapy clinic

Maj. Chase Hamilton, 31st Medical Operations Squadron Physical Therapist, provides therapy treatment to a military service member, Nov. 2, 2017, at Aviano Air Base, Italy. The physical therapy clinic opened Direct Access, which allows active duty military service members to be assessed at the clinic without a referral from a Primary Care Manager. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cory W. Bush)

Physical Therapy clinic

Maj. Chase Hamilton, 31st Medical Operations Squadron Physical Therapist, provides therapy treatment to a military service member, Nov. 2, 2017, at Aviano Air Base, Italy. The physical therapy clinic opened Direct Access, which allows active duty military service members to be assessed at the clinic without a referral from a Primary Care Manager. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cory W. Bush)

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy -- October was National Physical Therapy month. During this month, the 31st Medical Operations Squadron Physical Therapy clinic raised awareness on the importance of physical therapy to decrease pain, improve mobility, and help people engage in healthy lifestyles.

To celebrate this month, the clinic opened Direct Access for service members at Aviano Air Base. Direct Access allows physical therapists to evaluate active duty service members with a musculoskeletal injury without requiring a referral from a Primary Care Manager. All other beneficiaries seeking physical therapy must obtain a referral.

Physical therapists play an essential role in healthcare with a focus on injury prevention, recovery, and maintenance. We can prescribe medication, order diagnostic imaging and labs, issue profiles, and initiate referrals to advance levels of care when needed.

On a larger scale, physical therapists also work with units to evaluate risk-assessments for injuries, promote appropriate body mechanics and decrease the potential for work-related injuries. Providing these services through Direct Access frees up primary care physicians to evaluate and treat more acute conditions.

For those seeking a healthy lifestyle, it’s celebration time here at Aviano AB.

For more information about physical therapy appointments and Direct Access, call 0434-30-4068 or DSN 632-4068.