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PT Myths and Facts

Updated: Feb 20, 2022

While physical therapy is highly beneficial for those rehabilitating post-surgery or to treat an injury, there are still several myths surrounding it. Here are some of them:


Myth #1: I need to see a physician first before I can go to a physical therapist.


Fact: A referral from a physician is not required for one to be assessed by a physical therapist. A certified PT is qualified to evaluate a patient seeking physical therapy treatment. However, you may want to inquire first with your health insurance if they will cover physical therapy consultation and treatments without a physician's referral.


Myth #2: I can only undergo physical therapy to rehabilitate after an injury or an accident.


Fact: Physical therapy is not just to facilitate rehabilitation after an injury, accident, or post-surgery. It can also serve as a preventative therapy to avoid further injuries or potential disability. For example, before a minor back pain or painful shoulders become chronic, physical therapy can already address and prevent these from exacerbating further. Some physical therapy treatment can already avoid surgery or if surgery may be required later, recovery can be faster postoperative.


Myth #3: I can “DIY” physical therapy by watching videos on the internet.


Fact: Medical expertise is required to evaluate, diagnose, and create a treatment plan. Your physical therapist is highly trained and licensed to make the evaluation and diagnosis of your condition, as well as the recommended treatment. Thus, while you are encouraged to be compliant to the treatment plan, you would still need the expertise of a qualified physical therapist to make you one.


Myth #4: I don’t like to undergo physical therapy because it is painful.


Fact: Physical therapy treatment is designed according to your needs and pain threshold. Thus, your physical therapist aims to minimize your discomfort or pain during the therapy sessions. The range of motion and flexibility that you can accommodate will be considered your PT, and your level will be elevated as you go along with your treatment. Your total healing and rehabilitation is the main priority of your PT.


Myth #5: Any doctor can perform physical therapy.


Fact: Physical therapists study this allied health profession and undergo rigid training prior to earning a license or certification. They may also specialize in other associated specialty areas such as orthopedics, neurology, sports medicine, geriatrics, or oncology, to complement their physical therapy profession. Thus, only a certified physical therapist or physiotherapist can administer physical therapy, with the specific speciality area of your need.


Myth #6: Physical therapy is composed of just exercises.

Fact: Physical therapy is more than just exercises. The treatment can be a combination of manual therapy, patient counselling, modalities, general or overall wellness improvements, and injury prevention. Treatment plans are customized per patient according to their needs and objectives. As you go along with your treatments, you can communicate with your physical therapist if you feel the treatment is working for you, if these are painful for you, or if you think your treatment plan should be changed. Your PT aims to help you feel better.


Arise Physical Therapy can address your other inquiries should you have any about physical therapy. Book an appointment today for a consultation.

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