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Direct Access - Speed up your Recovery

Choose PT First. Save time and Money by directly accessing your local DPT

Have you started running more and noticed that your knees are a little achy? Have you been sitting at your desk, working from home and now your back pain just doesn’t seem to go away? Occasionally, some aches and pains sneak up and it would be nice to speak with a professional, instead of just relying on what the person on Instagram says!

Virginia is one of the states that participate in Direct Access to physical therapy. This means that you have the ability to directly access a physical therapist without a referral from a physician or other health care provider for 30 days. This is an excellent way to save time and a few insurance co-pays by skipping several steps in the usual health care model!

What to expect during a Direct Access visit?

It has the same set up as a visit with a referral! Your physical therapist will meet with you one-on-one for an evaluation to figure out what the problem is and how they can help you. If they feel like your injury may need further evaluation or imaging, they will refer you to a physician or other specialist. However, if your injury is within their scope of practice, they will give you a personalized treatment plan and start you on your road to recovery!

Why does this matter?

This will prevent unnecessary delays that often occur! Usually when a patient is experiencing pain, they will check in with their primary physician, who will often refer them to an orthopedic specialist. The orthopedic specialist may or may not then refer the patient for an MRI. After the MRI, usually the patient is then given a referral for physical therapy. This process can last, on average, more than 24 days! This leads to many insurance co-pays as well as increased time with pain and decreased function. By being able to skip some of the steps, Direct Access allows for happier and healthier patients.


There are moments when you know that physical therapy is what you need to solve your problem. Save some time and money and come straight to us! Call us up and we will schedule you with one of our Doctors of Physical Therapy so that they can address your needs and have you start your recovery journey!

More Resources

If you would like to learn more about Direct Access Laws refer to the American Physical Therapy Association’s website.

Health Services Research that provided us with the data and numbers:

Alana Hamilton Alana Hamilton is a physical therapist at Advantage Physical Therapy in Falls Church, Virginia. She is a proud Hokie from Virginia Tech with a major in Biology and a minor in psychology and sociology. Following graduation, she immediately got her doctorate in Physical Therapy from Radford University. She is an avid fan of Pilates, running, and hiking. On the weekends, she can be found hanging out with her family and baby as well as doing Spartan races with her old physical therapy classmates and friends. She is a big believer that during rehabilitation, "Motion is the Lotion" and that staying active is key to remaining healthy.

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