21 Sep Top 5 Physical Therapy Myths, and the Truth Behind Them
Physical Therapists go through extensive education and training to become movement experts. Despite the positive impact that Physical Therapists can have on your ability to live your best life, the profession and what it entails is not well known, especially to the general public. Let’s bust the top 5 Physical Therapy myths and find out the real truth about this profession.
Myth #1 Physical Therapy is only for injuries or accidents.
While most people seek out Physical Therapy only after sustaining an injury or being involved in an accident, these are not the only instances where you can benefit from our services. Yes, we will be able to help improve your pain after something like this, but we can also help you improve your performance, prevent injuries, and simply move better!
Think about this, most people don’t hesitate to go to their dentist or primary care physician for yearly checkups. Imagine if this were true for Physical Therapy. You could have your Physical Therapist check your range of motion, strength, power, endurance, balance, and coordination. This way you could tell if you are moving less than optimal, allowing you an opportunity to improve before a real injury occurs.
Visit our Huntingdon Valley Physical Therapy office today to find out where you can improve!
Myth #2 You need to see a doctor before going to Physical Therapy.
Not necessarily true.
Unfortunately, some insurance companies may have their own rules that require you to have a doctor referral. However, in the profession as a whole, we now have something called Direct Access, which means that state laws have mandated the removal of a required physician referral to Physical Therapy.
As of 2015, Physical Therapists are required to graduate with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. We are trained to screen for serious medical conditions that may require treatment from a medical doctor or other health care professional. Therefore, even if you see your Physical Therapist first, you will be appropriately screened and referred to another specialist if needed.
Direct access allows for quicker assessment and treatment, decreased medical costs, and potentially saves you from other unnecessary medications, imaging, or surgeries.
Myth #3 Physical Therapy is just exercise.
Yes, we utilize exercise, but Physical Therapy is much more than just that. First, we will perform a full assessment of your movements, strengths, and limitations. Then we will use a combination of patient education, manual therapy, and exercise to help you improve and reach your goals.
If you were to simply be given exercises without education on how to improve how you move you won’t get very far and you will probably end up right back where you started.
Don’t forget exercise is a term that can encompass many different things. From corrective and accessory exercises, to large and functional movements, to stretching and mobility work.
Myth #4 All Physical Therapists are the same.
While all Physical Therapists receive the same education and have to meet the same requirements to obtain their degrees and licenses, so many different factors play into each individual Physical Therapists’ treatment styles.
Life experience, overall interests and passions, and what each Physical Therapist decides to complete extra training in throughout their career all impact how they can help their patients.
If you have a knee injury you may want to go see someone who specializes in orthopedics. If you are wanting to improve your posture and ergonomics at work you may benefit from an ergonomic specialist. Or if you have poor balance, you may want to find someone who specializes in vestibular rehabilitation. These are just a few examples.
No matter what it is that you need help with, you will be able to find a Physical Therapist to help you out. In fact, most states require 40 hours of continuing education every 2 years in order to maintain your Physical Therapy license.
So you can be sure that whoever it is that you see, they are up to date on all of the latest information in their specialty.
Myth #5 Surgery is more effective
In regards to musculoskeletal injuries, Physical Therapy is more cost effective and sometimes more effective than surgery.
Sure, there are instances when surgery is absolutely required, but more often than not, Physical Therapy can actually help to resolve your pain and impairments. You may as well go through at least a few weeks of Physical Therapy as your therapist will help accurately assess and diagnose your condition, provide guidance on the best treatment option, and even help you avoid surgery altogether. However, if surgery is ultimately required, you will at least have more knowledge, strength, and mobility going into surgery than you would have otherwise. And, having as much strength and mobility prior to surgery helps to improve your outcomes after surgery.
If you have any questions or are interested in learning more about what Physical Therapists can offer you, don’t hesitate, call us at our Huntingdon Valley Physical Therapy office today.