Several misconceptions surround physical therapy that we need to debunk. Most people think of physical therapy as rehabilitation. Sure it is part of what they do, but that is not what it all entails. Physical therapy can improve the quality of your life by helping reduce the nagging pains and help you stay active and energetic throughout your life. So let us demystify some misconceptions that surround the physical therapy field.
I Must Be Recommended To A Physical Therapist
It is a common misconception that people think they have to be referred to a physical therapist before starting their sessions. However, you do not have a physician refer you to a physical therapist or give any authorization. Creating a physical therapy session is as easy as just walking in a physical therapist office and enrolling yourself for an evaluation by the physical therapist; some states have many listed treatments that a physical therapist can do without a physician analysis. Therefore before visiting a physical therapist, you need to check out whether your problem is something the therapist can handle without a referral.
Physical Therapy Is Painful
A physical therapist job is to relieve you from the discomforts caused by your pain, including chronic pain. They limit the exercises and remedies within your pain threshold to heal and restore your normal mobility. However, most people are still of the thought that physical therapy is painful and that it involves stretching the sore muscles and parts. It is why most people prefer taking painkillers during their lifetime to visiting a therapist.
Physical Is Only For Injuries
Physical therapists do more than just stretch and help heal broken parts and weak muscles. Therapists can diagnose issues before they progress to a debilitating condition. Therapists can diagnose conditions such as frozen shoulders and carpal tunnel syndrome. They can also advise on how you can prevent some illnesses. Physical therapy can be helpful in;
- Improving mobility
- Reducing fall risks
- Maximizing movement
- Delaying or avoiding surgery
Any Healthcare Practitioner Can Carry Out Physical Therapy
In health care, several cadres have different roles to play. Therefore, your orthopedic surgeon may have some therapy knowledge, but they may not be as good as a specialized therapist in that area. Additionally, nowadays, physical therapists have broadened their scope of knowledge to other areas such as neurology, sports and orthopedics; therefore, this makes them well-rounded and even more efficient.
Insurance Does Not Cover Physical Therapy
Insurance companies may cover physical therapy up to some extent. Therefore it is a myth to state that no insurer covers physical therapy. Depending on the coverage amount you take, it will be sufficient to cover some of the costs. Beyond insurance, most of us may think physical therapy is expensive, while in a real sense, it prevents you from a lot of imaging costs and prescription drugs. Moreover, you can address issues before they become chronic conditions that will require ongoing expensive treatment.
I Can Do It At Home By Myself
Of course, your participation in physical therapy contributes to your eventual well-being; however, you may need professional guidance to help you out with the proper guidelines on what to do. Your therapist will leverage their knowledge, recent evidence and clinical experience to evaluate your needs and come up with a diagnosis before proceeding to create a treatment regimen.
They also do constant follow-ups and may amend the treatment plan along the way depending on how your body is adjusting to the treatment. You may not be able to self evaluate and track your progress correctly since sometimes we tend to ignore some vital signs that may shift the direction of the treatment.
Physical Therapists Fix People Instantly
When you have been having a nagging pain, you look for any fast relief method. Therefore when visiting a therapist, we always want instant results which is not always the case. Physical therapy is a gradual healing method. Additionally, its success depends on cooperation from both the patient and the physical therapist. Your therapist can only accomplish so much during your sessions. However, they will give guidelines for the continuation of treatment when you are alone. Therefore we need to debunk this myth that therapists provide instant relief and embrace the fact that this treatment process is gradual and may continue for some period. For some people, it becomes part of their lifestyle.
Physical therapy not only stretches and treats injuries; there are many components contained in this broad field, both psychological and physical. The myths that surround it have discouraged some people from obtaining help from a professional therapist. Most people often opt for self-medication. Therefore we need to step away from such myths and appreciate the fact that physical therapy is a dynamic field with a wide range of benefits.