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5 Physical Therapy Myths

Updated: Feb 24, 2022

Physical therapists are movement experts who work to treat pain, reduce risk of injury, improve function, and maximize performance. However, many people don't know exactly what we do, or how. It's time to debunk some PT myths to get treatment into the hands of those who need it!

I need a physician's referral or insurance to see a PT.

This one is commonly believed, but is false! All 50 states now have what is referred to as Direct Access, where you can directly see a physical therapist without needing a physician's referral. Physical therapists are trained in diagnosis and treatment, and if you need further treatment, they know when and how to refer you to a medical provider. Some insurances allow for direct access and will pay fully, but others will not cover PT without a referral, and that's where cash-based therapy can be beneficial for the patient. Thankfully, it is getting more popular to see a therapist for primary care for an injury or pain instead of going to a physician, who would likely just refer you to PT.

It’s only going to be helpful if I've had an injury or surgery.

Physical therapists see many people who don’t have athletic injuries- we treat all sorts of problems with mobility. We help people with balance problems, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, lymphedema, and pre- and post-partum, in addition to many more diagnoses. If you have a problem with mobility and function, we can help treat it. In addition to this, not every type of orthopedic pain needs surgery. Research is finding that PT alone can be beneficial for rotator cuff tears, meniscus tears, and helping to ease pain from arthritis. Call us for a consult to see if you can benefit today!

PT has to involve a lot of pain.

At Restore PT, we believe that physical therapy should be tolerable. While some minor pain or soreness may be impossible to avoid, your therapist should work with you to find exercises, manual therapy, and home routines that are not significantly increasing your symptoms for an extended amount of time. We listen to your concerns and edit your individual program every single session to ensure that PT is working for you.

If I see a personal trainer or massage therapist, I don't have to see a physical therapist.

Personal trainers and massage therapists can certainly help you feel better, and they can play an important role in your care team. However, of these, only physical therapists have the ability to diagnose and treat pain, and you should see a physical therapist if you’re having regular pain or difficulty with movement. Physical therapists can also perform manual therapy, soft tissue mobilization, give an exercise prescription, and improve athletic performance, but they may refer to one of the other providers to best meet your specific needs.

My sessions are over after I'm out of the clinic.

Physical therapy has a goal to get your back on your feet as safely, quickly, and thoroughly as possible. Your PT will work with you for your exercises, and may use some hands-on skills to help improve your function, pain, or mobility, but a large part of physical therapy is the home exercise program. Your PT will work with you to make a reasonable and beneficial program to help progress your injury, ability, and function to get you feeling better as soon as possible!

Remember, if you have any concerns, you can always call or send an email and ask us! We are here to serve you.

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