Most Texans do not realize the steps required to see a physical therapist until they actually need to see one. In Texas, patients have the option to go directly to see a physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, massage therapist, acupuncturist, or chiropractor when they need treatment for an injury or musculoskeletal pain. Unfortunately, to see a musculoskeletal expert, which is a physical therapist, and most importantly, to receive treatment, a patient must first have a prescription from another provider (physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, chiropractor, or dentist). This means additional time and money out of pocket for a patient before they can actually receive treatment. Texas ranks 47th in the nation in access to primary care providers, so it can often be a couple of weeks to a month to get in to see a provider that can give a prescription before you can even start treatment with a PT!
It is time for Texas to catch up with the rest of the country and give patients direct access to physical therapy. Texas and Missouri are the only remaining states without some version of direct access. If better access to great physical therapy care and avoiding further overuse of medications is important to you, please take the time to contact your legislators and ask them to support HB1080, HB29 and SB732.
For more information, see:
Texas Physical Therapy Association:
Physical Therapy by Choice: