Every day thousands of people benefit from physical therapy – they reduce pain, improve or restore mobility, and thus are able to stay happy, healthy and active throughout their lifetime. As a physical therapist I have spoken to many people about what I do, and have discovered some myths that circulate about what I do.
I wanted to share with you 5 of the most common misconceptions I have heard about physical therapy and set the record straight.
- You need a referral to see a physical therapist. Many people think that a referral or prescription is required to see (or be evaluated by) a physical therapist. But in fact – all 50 states allow patients to be evaluated by a physical therapist without a physician’s referral!
- Physical therapy is only for injuries and accidents. Physical therapists do more than strengthen weak muscles after an injury or surgery. We are able to evaluate and diagnose potential problems with your body before they lead to something serious! Some of the common conditions we can treat are; frozen shoulder, carpal tunnel, lower back pain, and chronic headaches.
- Physical therapy is painful. What we try to do is minimize pain and discomfort. We work within your comfort zone to help you heal, and restore movement and function.
- Physical therapy is not covered by insurance. Most insurance policies cover some form of physical therapy – but you need to make sure to check with your provider. Interestingly enough physical therapy is proven to reduce costs by helping you avoid unnecessary surgery, or prescription drugs.
- I can do physical therapy myself. Although your participation is key to a successful treatment plan, you still need the guidance of an expert. Physical therapists use their specialized education and clinical expertise to properly evaluate your needs and make a diagnosis before creating an individualized care plan.
So – did you learn anything? Were you guilty of believing in some of the above myths? I hope that this post was helpful to you, and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch with me. You can contact me through this form, or give us a call at 201-585-7300.