Do you have Anterior Knee Pain? Learn why early PT saves money!


The Timing of Receiving Physical Therapy for Patellofemoral Pain Matters!

By: Jessica Deak, PT, DPT

You just received a script from your physician that says, “Diagnosis: Knee pain. Physical therapy (PT) 3x/week for 4 weeks.” What do you do next? Do you start researching local PT offices? Do you wait a few weeks and see if your knee pain gets better with time? Or do you seek out other options such as injections or medications? Unfortunately, the pathway for receiving appropriate care has not always been efficient. A recent study published by Young et al. in 2021 discussed the benefits of seeking physical therapy first, specifically for patellofemoral pain, and how timing truly matters.

Patellofemoral pain is considered pain in the front of the knee, usually around the kneecap (patella) according to the Mayo Clinic. It is sometimes called “runner’s knee,” and is usually more common in people who participate in sports that involve running and jumping. Patellofemoral pain can affect anyone, however, as it has an annual prevalence of approximately 23% in the general population.

This aforementioned study looked at 3 main groups: 1) individuals who went to PT first for an evaluation of their knee pain, 2) individuals who went to a physician to receive a diagnosis, but went to PT 1-30 days after receiving a script, which was considered “early PT,” and 3) individuals who went to a physician to receive a script, but went to PT 31-90 days after receiving a script, which was considered “late PT.”

Many key findings were established from this study. The researchers found that those in the PT first group needed less treatment visits overall, followed by early PT and then late PT. Knee-related care visits were less in the PT first group at two years follow-up. The PT first group also had lower odds of needing radiographs, MRI/CT scan, prescription medications or injections. Thus, seeking PT first resulted in the lowest total future healthcare costs. Going to PT first had better outcomes than early and late PT, but unfortunately, initial contact with a physical therapist as the first provider was less common than receiving a physician referral according to this study.

This is important, as many people do not know that you can see a physical therapist first without needing to see a physician. The law changed in 2003 to allow you to have Direct Access to see a Physical Therapist without a referral. Some insurance plans might require it, but at db Ortho PT, we will find that out when verifying your benefits.

In closing, by initiating physical therapy early on, this can decrease the likelihood of acute patellofemoral pain developing into a chronic issue and will reduce overall healthcare costs. At db Ortho PT, we can guide you towards the path of receiving skilled, thorough care to help speed up your recovery process. We hope that by reading this article, you will not have to think about what to do next when you are experiencing any kind of pain, and you will choose PT first!

Dr. Jessica Deak is a Doctor of Physical Therapy at db Ortho PT of Manalapan, LLC, located at 100 Craig Rd., Suite 108.

Dr. Deak can be reached at 732-462-2162 or via e-mail at You can also find out more about our practice at

Want to Stay Healthy? Move More.

Want to Stay Healthy? Move More.
COVID has certainly made the importance of health very clear and we have all seen how quickly things can change with an illness. While COVID is currently front and center in most people’s thoughts, it isn’t the only thing out there that can change your life. Heart disease, diabetes, strokes and cancer can all be devastating too.
Movement offers a defense.
If you’re looking to be more resilient and defend against these things, physical activity can do it. The dangers of being sedentary are well known and documented in the research. Excessive
sitting and sedentary time have even been called the new smoking. For many of us, sitting and being inactive is part of our jobs. However, research has shown that getting in enough movement can counteract the negative effects of being sedentary.
A large study done in the U.K. found no association between the amount of time people spent sedentary and their chances of illness. But the authors didn’t conclude that being sedentary is OK. Instead, they felt their findings were likely “attributable to a protective effect of the high volumes of daily walking.” The study was conducted in London, where people tend to spend much more time walking or standing than average. The people in the study had daily walking times that were over double the average amount reported in the U.K.
Physical Therapists Are Unequaled Experts in Human Movement.
While walking was the activity in this particular study, other research has shown that all kinds of movement can help protect your health. If you’re looking to get those protective benefits for
yourself you could choose to walk, bike, lift weights, dance or garden. If you’re not moving as much or as well as you’d like, see your physical therapist. PTs are the most qualified professionals on the planet to help you move better and allow you to stay healthy and enjoy life. From designing a program to get you started or moving more to helping you recover from an injury, your PT is the right person to look to for help.
Call us at db OrthoPT to help get you started with a movement or injury evaluation today!
Lincroft 732-747-1262 Manalapan 732-462-2162.

4 Benefits of Keeping Fit During the Pandemic

4 Benefits of Keeping Fit During a Pandemic

Looking after our minds and bodies has never been so important. When the world is suddenly flipped upside down and our normality drastically changes, it can be easy to fall off track, particularly with our fitness regimes, which is completely understandable in such unusual circumstances.

However, everyone knows that exercise is just as important for the mind, as it is for the body, which is why it’s important you don’t lose focus on what makes you feel good. Whether you now work from home or must dedicate more hours of your day to homeschooling your children, it is crucial you still make time for what keeps you happy. Whether that’s going for afternoon jogs or working out in the yard for half an hour each morning, it’s fundamental that you still make time for yourself.

So, what are the benefits of keeping fit during a pandemic?

Improved Mental Health

According to Healthline, mental health is just as important as a person’s physical health. When you think about exercise more specifically, you need to have a certain level of mental strength in order to exercise in the first place. Consider the physical pain of an intense workout, for example, such as a 5k run without stopping, that requires a certain level of self-belief. When you challenge your body to tasks you may not have thought you could have done, such as 50 burpees, and prove to yourself that you can do it with the right mentality, then that heightens your mental strength and therefore boosts your mental health.

Boosts Happiness

No one regrets a workout or feels worse in themselves than they did before a workout. That is because there is a great deal of satisfaction and accomplishment after any physical activity, as we are rewarding our bodies, which ultimately makes us feel happier as a result.

An opportunity for extra happiness should be taken.

Improved Physical Fitness

Whether you have access to a gym and workout equipment or not, there is no reason as to why you cannot still maintain and even improve your level of fitness. If you get into regular habits of exercising during this pandemic, your body will thank you for it when you notice the physical changes, such as your legs becoming more toned, or the loss of fat off your stomach.

There are many ways you can incorporate exercise into your daily routine, even if it is a speed walk to work and back every day, you will still see the benefits.

Better Quality of Sleep

Every night is a new opportunity to get a good night sleep, however if you are regularly exercising, research proves you are more likely to have a better quality of sleep. If you have a sit-down job, you may feel restless at bedtime and struggle to drift off. To approach this issue, you could introduce some form of exercise in the evening to help tire out your body in your preparation for a good night sleep.

24 days to a stronger core!

The importance of building strength of your abdominal, low back and pelvic floor muscles has been supported by research to reduce your risk of developing low back pain for many years.  People often don’t know how to get started and what exercises to perform.  This 24 day calendar produced by takes out the guess work and gives you a simple way to track completion.  The reps and sets are guidelines only and you should modify it based on your fitness level.  If too difficult, consider reducing the number of reps or how long to hold each exercise.  If too easy, do the opposite and increase the work load.  Be prepared for post exercise muscle soreness usually 2 days later.  If you have unusually pain or soreness that develop, please contact us immediately for an evaluation.  Get started now!

Download the core calendar below:

Core calendar  

Manalapan location moves to its new permanent home!

Our new office in Manalapan is now complete and open for business!  It is now located at 100 Craig Road, Suite 108, Manalapan, NJ 07726.  Stop in to see our new, state of the art, 2100 sqft facility on the ground floor of the 100 Building.  Here are some photos of the new location: