National Physical Therapy Month

 As a member of the American Physical Therapy Association, Valir is participating in the annual National Physical Therapy Month campaign; this year’s message is #ChoosePT, a theme created to bring awareness to the dangers of opioid use, and encourage consumers and prescribers to follow guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to choose safer alternatives like physical therapy.  Use the information and tools below to help spread the message to #ChoosePT, together we can not only better, but we can save lives. 


  •  Handouts (Flyers, Postcards, Infographics) 
  •  Ideas and Opportunities 
  •  Logos 
  •  Messages 
  •  Public Service Announcements 
  •  Social Media Graphics 

Handouts (Flyers, Postcards, Infographics)

For PTs and PTAs

  • Advocacy Position Paper (.pdf)
    Solving the opioid epidemic will take more than raising public awareness about the risks of prescription opioid use. Improving patient access to physical therapy is essential. APTA’s position paper on opioid abuse and the role of physical therapy is a terrific resource to utilize with policymakers.
  • Fact Sheet for PTs and PTAs (.pdf)
    To help educate physical therapists and physical therapist assistants, APTA has developed a 1-page overview, including an opioid awareness checklist. PTNow also has resources related to clinical practice and the opioid epidemic.

For Consumers

  • #ChoosePT Postcard (.pdf)
    This two-sided 8×6 #ChoosePT postcard can be distributed at events or in clinics. It is recommended that these are printed at a professional print store (Kinkos, Staples, Vista Print, etc).
  • Customizable Low Back Pain Handout (.pdf)
    Customize this handout with your practice information to educate consumers about how physical therapists treat low back pain.
  • Low Back Pain Infographic (.pdf)
    Use this handout to educate patients about safe physical therapist treatment of low back pain.
  • Patient Pain Profile (.pdf)
    The pain profile includes a self-assessment form and 5-day pain diary designed to facilitate conversations with providers about treatment.
  • Physical Therapy vs Opioids (.pdf)
    This handout provides an overview of the opioid epidemic and the potential for physical therapy to be part of the solution.

    Ideas and Opportunities

There is no shortage of ways to support the campaign and raise awareness about this national public health issue.

Here are just a few ideas:

  • Newsletters and message boards: Use text and links from the #ChoosePT webpages to educate your patients and peers about the opioid and heroin epidemics.
  • Community events: Opportunities to interact with members of your community include health fairs, fitness walks/runs/rides, and local festivals. Use the downloadable 8.5×11 #ChoosePT signs. Wear #ChoosePT T-shirts. Distribute copies of the Pain Profile and other resources.
  • Community outreach: Find a chronic pain support group in your area and ask for a meeting with the coordinator. Reach out to local addiction specialists and ensure they know about the benefits of physical therapy as an alternative to opioids for pain management. Also reach out to community leaders and ask them to support the campaign with something as simple as a tweet or Facebook post.
  • Utilize awareness months: September is National Pain Awareness Month and October is National Physical Therapy Month. Use these awareness months to your advantage when planning your activities.
  • Op-eds and letters to the editor: Contact your local newspaper to determine the word count and submission process for op-eds. Op-eds are personal opinion pieces, but they are more likely to be placed if they are authentic, conversational, and persuasive, not self-serving or combative. Focus your piece on the epidemic’s local impact.


Download #ChoosePT logos in various formats. Also see Advertisements and Social Media Graphics.

Download (900×900): JPG | PNG

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Here are some key messages you can convey when supporting the campaign:

  • The increase in prescription opioid use is unmistakable.
    According to the CDC, in 2012 health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for opioid pain medication, enough for every American adult to have their own bottle of pills
  • The risk for misusing prescription opioids is real.
    According to the CDC, every day, over 1,000 people are treated in emergency departments for misusing prescription opioids.
  • The risk for addiction is real.
    According to the CDC, as many as 1 in 4 people who receive prescription opioids long-term for noncancer pain in primary care settings struggles with addiction.
  • The risk for heroin use is real.
    According to the CDC, among new heroin users, about 3 out of 4 report abusing prescription opioids before using heroin.
  • Physical therapy is a safe and effective alternative to opioids for long-term pain management.
    In March 2016, the CDC released guidelines urging nonopioid approaches for the management of chronic pain.
  • There are some situations in which opioid therapy is appropriate.
    The CDC guidelines indicate that opioids may be appropriates for situations including cancer treatment, palliative care, end-of-life care, and certain acute care situations. Still, the CDC guidelines also suggest pairing opioid therapy with nonopioid therapy, and their prescriber checklist recommends trying nonopioid therapy first.
  • Patients have a choice about the kind of treatment they receive.
    Before accepting a prescription for opioids, patients should talk to their health care providers about related risks and safer alternatives.

Public Service Announcements (PSAs)

PSAs are short, educational messages that elevate awareness about important issues. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires broadcast media to serve “in the public interest.” Most stations use PSAs as a way to meet this requirement.

APTA’s distributed TV and radio PSAs beginning in October 2016. 

The 60-second TV PSA is available online for you to share via social media or embed on your website.

    Social Media Graphics

APTA will promote the campaign through MoveForwardPT.com’s social media profiles on Facebook (/MoveForwardPT), Twitter (@MoveForwardPT), and Pinterest (/MoveForwardPT). Please follow those accounts and share our posts.

  • Hashtag: Use the #ChoosePT hashtag in your social media posts promoting the campaign.
  • Cover and Header Photos for Facebook and Twitter: Post these graphics atop your social media profile pages: Facebook cover photo | Twitter header photo
  • Section Specific Graphics: Using the latest available data (sometimes this is 2015), we have created graphics applicable to APTA sections and other special populatons. These are available via Dropbox.
  • State Specific Graphics: Using the latest available data (sometimes this is 2015), we have created graphics that show the impact of the opioid epidemic in each state: These graphics are available via Dropbox.

Download any of the following graphics to use in your social media posts (print quality graphics are provided lower on this page):

Enlarge and Download 'Versus'Facebook (1200×630) | Twitter (1024×512)
Enlarge and Download 'Hands'Facebook (1200×630) | Twitter (1024×512)
Enlarge and Download 'Heroin'Facebook (1200×630) | Twitter (1024×512)
Facebook (1200×630) | Twitter (1024×512)
Facebook (1200×630) | Twitter (1024×512)
Facebook (1200×630) | Twitter (1024×512)
Facebook (1200×630) | Twitter (1024×512)
Facebook (1200×630) | Twitter (1024×512)


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