5 myths of physical therapy
BY Dan Glatz PT,MPT,MS
Many people say this is the cold & flu season, but it is also the season for slips, falls, & other bodily injuries. Whether it is unseen ice on the ground, too much snow shoveling, or not warming up/stretching properly before a workout, injuries, if left unchecked or cared for properly, can cause more harm in the long term. With the new year upon us, and new starts ahead of us, it seems an appropriate time to dispel some common myths concerning physical therapy and start with a clean slate for a new and healthy 2016. It is common to hear the following misconceptions when speaking with possible patients regarding physical therapy:
- I need a physician’s prescription to see a physical therapist. Many physical therapists, including those at Performance UNLIMITED Physical Therapy, are direct access licensed by the state, allowing them to treat for 30 days without a prescription.
- I have to go where the doctor tells me to go. As a patient, you have the right to choose where you are going to receive care. Many patients feel compelled to remain within their doctor’s system when there are other opportunities and providers that may offer more individualized or specialized programs.
- Physical therapy is only for injuries. As physical therapists, we specialize in the human body, including body mechanics, posture and movements. This allows physical therapists to evaluate and diagnose potential problems before they lead to more serious injuries or disabling conditions. These include frozen shoulder, headaches and lower back pain, to name a few.
- Any healthcare professional can perform physical therapy. Many professionals use similar techniques and programming, but only a licensed physical therapist can perform physical therapy.
- Physical therapy is expensive. Most insurances cover physical therapy. To help reduce patient costs, many physical therapists also offer maintenance programming to enable patients to continue to progress and improve function.
By coming to a deeper understanding of what exactly physical therapy is and what it isn’t, we can become more open to the possibilities of an easing of pain, healing of injuries, and general strengthening of the body that are within reach because of the many benefits. Physical therapy requires a time and energy commitment, but it is worth it to help with injuries, heal from surgery, or eliminate various other physical chronic ailments like headaches and backaches. Physical therapy is a wonderful means to help move into the New Year feeling well and able to face all those New Year’s resolutions. As for those, that is a topic for another day…