Some common misconceptions about physical therapy

Some common misconceptions about physical therapy

Physical therapists are experts who help people in reducing pain, improving or restoring mobility without drugs & surgery, and stay active throughout life. But there are some common misconceptions about physical therapy that often discourage people from seeking physical therapist treatment.

Physical therapy is painful

Usually physical therapy does not hurt although at the initial phase the stretches and exercises may cause slightly uncomfortable; this is primarily due to the fact that the body is not used to such movement; as the body adjust and adapts it will be less painful. Physical therapists seek to minimize your pain and discomfort—including chronic or long-term pain. They tend to work within your pain threshold to help you get better, and restore movement and function.

Physical therapy treats only muscles 

Physical therapy is helpful in conditions like vestibular rehabilitation, paralysis, chronic pain, cardiopulmonary conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis. Neurological conditions such as stroke, spinal cord injuries, vestibular dysfunction, and traumatic brain injuries. Musculoskeletal dysfunction such as back pain,rotator cuff tears, and temporomandibular joint disorders. Pediatric conditions such as developmental delays, cerebral palsy, and muscular dystrophy. Sports-related injuries, such as concussion and tennis elbow. Women’s health  and pelvic floor dysfunction, such as urinary incontinence and lymphedema. Hence, clearly, physical therapy does not treat only muscles.

I can do physical therapy myself

Your participation is a key to a successful treatment plan, but every patient still needs the expert care and guidance of a licensed physical therapist. Your therapist will use specialized education, clinical expertise & the latest available evidence to evaluate your needs and make a diagnosis before creating an individualized plan of care

A physician prescription is required to access a physical therapy assessment

Physical therapy can be accessed by the public directly, meaning that no referral or prescription is needed from a physician to book an appointment.  Although 70% of people think a referral or prescription is required for evaluation by a physical therapist. However some states have restrictions about the treatment a physical therapist can provide without a physician referral.

Any health care professional can perform physical therapy

Physical therapy can only be performed by a licensed physical therapist. Many physical therapists also pursue board certification in specific areas such as neurology, orthopedics, sports, or women’s health.

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