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What is Direct Access Physical Therapy?



Picture This: It's Sunday afternoon and you tweaked your back rearranging some furniture. Maybe it has done this in the past, but it usually takes about a week to get better with lots of rest, an ice pack, and some anti-inflammatories. This time, perhaps its worse or there is no way you can be out of commission for that long. So, you call up your primary care practitioner and can't get into see them until Thursday. By Thursday, it's somewhat better and you don't want to take the time off of work or pay the office visit to get checked out for an improving condition...even though your back may not be 100% and you have a sneaking suspicion that it will probably get strained again in a few months. Sound familiar? You may benefit from direct access to a physical therapist!



In Tennessee, direct access policies allow physical therapists to evaluate and treat patients without a referral from a physician. This policy has been implemented to reduce wait times and improve access to care for patients. It also helps reduce costs associated with referrals, as well as providing more autonomy for physical therapists.

With direct access, physical therapists are able to assess, diagnose and treat conditions that fall within their scope of practice. By utilizing this policy, physical therapists are able to provide quality care and help patients get back on their feet faster than ever before. There are multiple conditions that may be appropriate for direct access, such as musculoskeletal injuries and conditions, post-operative rehabilitation, pain management, balance disorders, and more. By understanding what conditions may be appropriate for direct access, patients can make informed decisions about their healthcare needs.


Raven Physical Therapy offers direct access care for clients in the Chattanooga area. We are a cash-based, concierge style practice; This means 1-on-1 time with a licensed Doctor of Physical Therapy with onsite or in-home sessions. Visit our services page to learn more!



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