New Role Found For The Immune System

It’s a stunning discovery that overturns decades of textbook teaching: researchers at the School of Medicine have determined that the brain is directly connected to the immune system by vessels previously thought not to exist. “I really did not believe there were structures in the body that we were not aware of. I thought the body was mapped,” said Jonathan Kipnis, a professor in the Department of Neuroscience and director of the University’s Center for Brain Immunology and Glia. How these vessels could have escaped detection when the lymphatic system has been so thoroughly mapped throughout the body is surprising on its own.

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Memorial Day Message

memorial day written in the blank space of a heart sign made with the hands patterned with the colors and the stars of the United States flag

The team of Rapid Rehab would like to wish
everyone a safe and meaningful Memorial Day.
Let us all remember and honor
those who are no longer with us and
celebrate their lives.

The Cost of Treating Back Pain

In today’s world, it can be confusing to figure out where to turn if you’re suffering from back pain.  For some, the first step is an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory.  For others, a trip to the doctor and a (costly) MRI.  If you’ve dealt with back pain in the past and struggled to find a suitable solution, you’re not alone.  According to a 2010 Global Burden of Disease study, low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide.  An estimated 60-80% of the population will suffer persistent back pain at some point in their lives.  If you are among the 13 million Americans seeing a doctor for back pain each year, there are a few things you should know.

In Many Cases, Physical Therapy is More Effective than Medicine, Diagnostic Imaging, and Invasive Surgery.  A study in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine showed an enormous spike in the prescription of steroid injections (629%), MRIs (307%), prescription pain medications (423%), and spinal fusion surgeries (220%) between the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.  However, the study also found that in the same time period, there was no increase in the number of patients with back pain nor did patient outcomes improve.

While for some patients these interventions are necessary or effective, many are left with high bills and no relief from pain.  A March 16, 2015 study in Health Services Research followed patients with complaints of low back pain from an initial consultation with their primary care physician through a year of treatment.  Patients were either offered physical therapy or advanced imaging (like an MRI) as the initial strategy for improving quality of life.  The study showed that patients who were sent first to a physical therapist spent markedly less in associated costs than those who first received an MRI.  They were also at a lower risk for future health care needs.

Early Intervention with Rapid Rehab’s Spine Experts Can Save 50% in Medical Costs.  Low back pain patients who receive physical therapy immediately after experiencing pain and stick with their treatment plan spend roughly $3,000 a year in associated healthcare costs.  Think that seems costly?  Patients who delayed treatment and didn’t adhere to their plan spend roughly $6,000.

Bottom line, if you’re suffering from back pain the musculoskeletal experts at Rapid Rehab can help!  Not only can we get you back on your feet at a fraction of the cost, but we can also give you the tools to eliminate your back pain completely and with lasting results.  If you think physical therapy may be the best course of treatment for you, give us a call today at 540.636.3500 or 540.665.2750 and we’ll gladly set you up with a complimentary appointment!

Physical Therapy vs Opioids: When to Choose Physical Therapy for Pain Management

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sales of prescription opioids have quadrupled in the United States, even though “there has not been an overall change in the amount of pain that Americans report.”

In response to a growing opioid epidemic, the CDC released opioid prescription guidelines in March 2016. The guidelines recognize that prescription opioids are appropriate in certain cases, including cancer treatment, palliative care, and end-of-life care, and also in certain acute care situations, if properly dosed.

But for other pain management, the CDC recommends nonopioid approaches including physical therapy.

Patients should choose physical therapy when …

  • … Patients are concerned about the risks of opioid use.
    “Given the substantial evidence gaps on opioids, uncertain benefits of long-term use, and potential for serious harms, patient education and discussion before starting opioid therapy are critical so that patient preferences and values can be understood and used to inform clinical decisions,” the CDC states. Physical therapists can play a valuable role in the patient education process, including setting realistic expectations for recovery with or without opioids. As the CDC guidelines note, even in cases when evidence on the long-term benefits of nonopioid therapies is limited, “risks are much lower” with nonopioid treatment plans.
  • … Pain or function problems are related to low back painhipor knee osteoarthritis, or fibromyalgia.
    The CDC cited “high-quality evidence” supporting exercise as part of a physical therapy treatment plan for those familiar conditions.
  • … Opioids are prescribed for pain. 
    Even in situations when opioids are prescribed, the CDC recommends that patients should receive “the lowest effective dosage,” and opioids “should be combined” with nonopioid therapies, such as physical therapy.
  • … Pain lasts 90 days.
    At this point, the pain is considered “chronic,” and the risks for continued opioid use increase. An estimated 116 million Americans have chronic pain each year. The CDC guidelines note that nonopioid therapies are “preferred” for chronic pain and that “clinicians should consider opioid therapy only if expected benefits for both pain and function are anticipated to outweigh risks to the patient.”

Before you agree to a prescription for opioids, consult with a physical therapist to discuss options for nonopioid treatment.

Related Resources:

This article was originally published on the American Physical Therapy Association website.  Click here to view it.

This summer’s Best Athletic Training Program

 kids sports

ATHLETES: This summer’s Best Athletic Training Program will…

                  Strengthen Your Core and Power, while Improving

                  Your Balance, Agility, Speed and Confidence


Programs for ages 7-10 and 11-16 yrs+


Summer Session 1:  June 7-30

Summer Session 2:  July 5-28


Every Tuesday and Thursday morning from 8-10 Rapid Rehab




  $25 savings for early registration by May 30

$50 savings when registering for both sessions

For more information and registration forms, contact: 

RAPID REHAB, Front Royal Location


Our new website

Welcome to our new website! This site has been designed to enhance our ability to serve our patients by communicating important information about our different services, and sharing physical therapy news. Have a look around, and thanks for stopping by!