A physical therapist helps take care of patients in all phases of healing, from initial diagnosis through the restorative and preventive stages of recovery. Physical therapy may be a standalone option, or it may support other treatments.
But there are some common misconceptions that often discourage people from seeking physical therapist treatment.
Myth: I need a referral to see a physical therapist
Fact: A recent survey by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) revealed 70% of people think a referral or prescription is required for evaluation by a physical therapist.
However, a physician’s referral is not required in order to be evaluated by a physical therapist.
Myth: Physical therapy is painful
Fact: Physical therapists actually work within your pain threshold to help you heal, and restore movement and function. The goal of your Health Plus Physical therapist will be to reduce or completely eliminate your chronic pain.
The survey found that although 71% of people who have never visited a physical therapist think physical therapy is painful, that number significantly decreases among patients who have seen a physical therapist in the past year.
Myth: Physical therapy is only for injuries and accidents
Fact: Health Plus Physical therapists are skilled at evaluating and diagnosing potential problems before they lead to more serious injuries.
or disabling conditions—from carpal tunnel syndrome and frozen shoulder to chronic headaches and lower back pain, to name a few.
Myth: Any health care professional can perform physical therapy.
Fact: Although 42% of consumers know that physical therapy can only be performed by a licensed physical therapist, 37% still believe other health care professionals can also administer physical therapy.
Many physical therapists also pursue board certification in specific areas such as neurology, orthopedics, sports, or women’s health, for example.
Myth: Physical therapy is not covered by insurance
Fact: Most insurance policies cover some form of physical therapy. Beyond insurance coverage, physical therapy has proven to reduce costs by helping people avoid unnecessary imaging scans, surgery, or prescription drugs.
Myth: Surgery is my only option.
Fact: In many cases, physical therapy has been shown to be as effective as surgery in treating a wide range of conditions i.e. from rotator cuff tears and degenerative disk disease, to meniscal tears and some forms of knee osteoarthritis.
Those who have recently seen a physical therapist know this to be true, with 79% believing physical therapy can provide an alternative to surgery.
Myth: I can do physical therapy myself
Fact: While your participation is key to a successful treatment plan, every patient still needs the expert care and guidance of a licensed physical therapist. Your therapist will leverage his or her specialized education, clinical expertise, and the latest available evidence to evaluate your needs and make a diagnosis before creating an individualized plan of care.
Take an appointment with our expert physical therapist for screening that can help reveal issues that are keeping you from being more active.
We also provide one-on-one therapy plans intended to reduce pain and increase your ability to move.
Can’t come into our therapy clinics? No worries! You can get therapy from our team from your home thanks to our virtual therapy services.
You can even get started with your therapy without getting a doctor’s referral beforehand.