You woke up with a stiff neck. After your morning shower, you realize your stiff neck is now changing into achy pain at the base of your neck. An hour later, on your drive to work, the pain continues to get more intense and is radiating into the top of your shoulders. You call your primary care physician (PCP) to get in to be seen that day however they are booked and can only see you in 4 days. The pain is getting more intense so you decide to go to the Emergency Room at your local hospital. You have been sitting in in the ER for the past 6 hours with no relief in sight.
Direct access allows you to see a licensed physical therapist without a prescription or referral from a physician. As of January, 2015, all 50 states have some form of direct access, although some states may have restrictions or provisions regarding time and amount of visitation or type of intervention (EMG, dry needling). With direct access in New Jersey, you are able to call your physical therapist and be see within the hour (or sooner) to get relief quick without a script or referal. 
In the past, without direct access, you had to call your PCP and hope they could squeeze you in that day. If you were unable to be seen that day, often you would seek help from your local emergency room or urgent care facility. Often, with most musculoskeletal dysfunctions, your PCP or ER would refer you for physical therapy and (possibly) order imaging or futher diagonstic testing.
The beauty of direct access is that it takes out the middle man/woman so that you can see a physical therapist immediately without the logistical trappings of getting a physician’s script or referral.
At Mana Physical therapy, our therapists are highly skilled and trained to provide you with optimal results in the most efficient time frame. We have same day scheduling to accommodate your needs. Next time you have some pain, call us to schedule your appointment to get relief quick!