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No referral needed for physical therapy
October is physical therapy awareness month
physical therapy awarenss
Jim Boyles, Larned, works on the NuStep with guidance from Jessica Poe, physical therapy assistant. Boyles is increasing strength and endurance to enhance mobility and everyday activities.

LARNED — Chelsea Laramore realizes people sometimes shy away from physical therapy because they assume a doctor’s referral is required. It is not.

As rehabilitation services director at The University of Kansas Health System Pawnee Valley Campus, Laramore wants to observe physical therapy awareness month during October by educating area residents about the benefits of physical therapy and reminding them they don’t need a referral.

“We understand people oftentimes don’t want to take time to visit a doctor, but they can call us directly,” Laramore said. “Early intervention is key when it comes to physical therapy. If you receive treatment sooner rather than later, you will feel better faster.

“Even if patients are hesitant at first, most soon realize that our care and treatment are helping them in their day-to-day life.”

At the bottom line, it’s all about quality of life. Physical therapy reduces pain, improves function and/or limits the effects of a disability or impairment, Laramore said.

She explained that Pawnee Valley Campus therapists stay in close contact with a patient’s primary care physician. 

“We share our plan of care with doctors so they are aware of our treatment,” she said.

Laramore encourages people to consider physical therapy when they notice neck or lower back pain, joint pain, problems with balance, dizziness or postoperative pain or stiffness. Some women’s health problems also can be overcome or alleviated with physical therapy.

In some situations, surgery may be recommended. 

“But physical therapy can delay or eliminate the need for an operation,” Laramore noted.

The physical therapy and advanced rehabilitation team at 923 Carroll Ave. in Larned offers other therapy regimens too.

While a physical therapist assists with pain relief, motion and mobility, an occupational therapist helps a patient live as independently as possible. Speech therapy also is available for swallowing disorders and speech and cognitive impairments.

“Whatever treatment is needed,” Laramore added, “our compassionate, experienced therapists provide comprehensive one-on-one care. We develop individualized treatment plans to help patients reach their goals.”

Pawnee Valley Campus therapists are: Jason Rath, Alyssa Linn and Eloise Doran, all physical therapists; Jessica Poe and Stacey Clawson, both physical therapy assistants; Mary Vilaysing, speech/language pathologist; Kortney Traylor and Chelsea Laramore, both occupational therapists; and Angela Meitner, certified occupational therapy assistant.