Physical Therapy reply

Angela Lewis, PT corrects James Jowdy

I am writing to comment on some information contained in your Iliotibial Band Syndrome website.  You include a letter from a Mr. James Jowdy, ATC, who has given you some false information about the profession of physical therapy.  He states that "By Law in all 50 states, patients are unable to directly see a P.T. because they need a referral from a physician in order to evaluate and treat them."   This information is incorrect.  In fact, a person has direct access to the services of a licensed physical therapist in 35 states, and in 48 states, a physical therapist may perform an initial evaluation without a physician referral.  

Mr. Jowdy also states; "The educational background of physical therapy and population which they treat is broad, and such they don't commonly specialize in sports related injuries, where the education and training of Athletic Trainers has this specific focus."  In fact, today's physical therapists are trained at the master's degree or doctoral degree level and are licensed and qualified to treat a broad spectrum of conditions, including those related to the musculoskeletal system.  Many physical therapists specialize in the area of orthopedics and sports medicine and are highly qualified to treat a person suffering from Iliotibial band syndrome.  On the other hand, as Mr. Jowdy himself points out, an athletic trainer's scope of education is very narrow and they are in fact limited in the population in which they, by law, are allowed to treat.   

So in summary, either an orthopedic physician, a physical therapist or an athletic trainer could be consulted for treatment by a person with I.T. Band Syndrome.  The consumer needs to make the decision about who they feel is most qualifed.  I just wanted to clarify the inaccuracies that Mr. Jowdy presented to you which you relayed to the public in your website.  More information about physical therapists can be found at  

Thank you,  

Angela Lewis, PT

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