Introduction: An American Health Crisis
APTA's #ChoosePT campaign raises awareness about the dangers of prescription opioids, and encourages consumers and prescribers to follow guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to choose safer alternatives like physical therapy.
The resources in this toolkit allow you to extend the reach and impact of the #ChoosePT campaign. You can also further support the campaign by driving web traffic to the #ChoosePT landing page.
Questions? If you have questions about how to support the campaign or use these tools, contact APTA's Public Relations department.
APTA has supported the #ChoosePT campaign with national online ads, targeted print ads, and billboards.
These ads are available for your use use in a variety of standard sizes. APTA may be able to adapt the size of an advertisement upon request, but the appearance of these ads cannot be modified or customized in order to remain consistent with the national campaign. All online/digital advertising should be directed to MoveForwardPT.com/ChoosePT.
Let us help: If you're considering paid advertisements in your area, or would like to donate to extend the reach of APTA's national online advertising efforts, contact APTA's Public Relations department at firstname.lastname@example.org. We may be able to make recommendations to improve results, or create a greater impact by combining contributions.
Graphics and Logos
Looking to place an advertisement? For print quality versions of the social media graphics provided below, contact contact APTA's Public Relations department at email@example.com.
Social Media Graphics
The #ChoosePT campaign is supported by APTA's consumer-oriented social media profiles on Facebook (/MoveForwardPT), Twitter (@MoveForwardPT), and Pinterest (/MoveForwardPT). Please follow those accounts and share our posts.
Download any of the following graphics to use in your social media posts (print quality graphics are provided lower on this page):
Handouts (Flyers, Postcards, Infographics)
For PTs, PTAs, and Other Health Care Providers
Ideas and Opportunities
Here are just a few ways you can support the #ChoosePT campaign to raise awareness about this health crisis:
- Newsletters and message boards: Use text and links from the #ChoosePT webpages to educate your patients and peers.
- Community events: Interact with your community at health fairs, fitness walks/runs/rides, and local festivals. Wear #ChoosePT T-shirts. Distribute copies of the Pain Profile and other resources. Use the downloadable 8.5x11 #ChoosePT signs.
- 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 social media 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. Be sure to check the length/format requirements of the publication before drafting your op-ed, and focus your submission on the epidemic's local impact.
Here are some key messages you can convey when supporting the campaign:
- Opioid medications are prescribed at alarming rates.
While there has been a decrease in opioid prescription in recent years, they are still prescribed at alarming rates. According to the CDC, in 2016 health care providers wrote 214 million prescriptions for opioid pain medication.
- 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.
If you know a patient willing to share their experience managing pain and improving function with physical therapist treatment, please encourage them to submit their story.
Public Service Announcements (PSAs)
PSAs are short, educational messages that elevate awareness about important issues. TV and radio stations use PSAs to meet the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requirement to serve "in the public interest."
The following PSAs have been distributed to TV and radio stations across the country. Use the links below to share them via social media or embed them on your website.
- Rally Signs (8.5x11)
These downloadable signs are ideal for advocacy and community awareness events.
- Sandwich Board (.pdf)
Work with a print shop to develop a sandwich board for display at your clinic or community event.
T-shirts and Other Gear
APTA has established an online storefront via Jim Coleman, Ltd, where you can purchase #ChoosePT products at cost. The #ChoosePT T-shirts and car magnets are popular ways to extend the campaign's reach to the public. The drinkware allows you to show your #ChoosePT pride at work or at home.
All #ChoosePT messages and advertisements direct users to the campaign landing page at APTA's official consumer information website: MoveForwardPT.com/ChoosePT.