Misconceptions about PT

  1. Physical therapy is painful We seek to decrease your pain, soreness, cramping, pinching, and burning sensations. Although certain treatment methods may not be comfortable, we are experienced at working within each person’s pain threshold to maximize movement, function, and healing potential. A recent survey found that although 71% of people who have never visited a PT think physical therapy is painful, that number significantly decreases among patients who have seen a PT in the past year (1). 
  2. Physical therapy is only for injuries, accidents, and surgeries We do a lot more than just stretch or strengthen weak muscles after an injury or surgery. From evaluating and diagnosing potential problems before they lead to more serious injuries or disabling conditions (1), we are always looking at body system compensations and their interaction on the entire person. 
  3. Any healthcare professional can perform physical therapy Physical therapists are more than just exercise prescribers; we are the musculoskeletal experts. This means that your PT may likely perform joint adjustments or manipulations, address soft tissue trigger points with a tool or needles, and even analyze your walking pattern. Don’t entrust your health to the internet or an exercise packet aimed a curing every unique individuals ‘fill in the blank’ pain! 
  4. Physical therapy is expensive When compared to surgery, PT is actually very cost effective. Not to mention, after going through physical therapy, many patients no longer require an X-ray or MRI because their symptoms improve. According to the American Physical Therapy Association, patients with lower back pain save 60% on their medical bills if they participate in therapy early on in their episode (2)  
  5. I need a doctor’s order to see a physical therapist In the state of Indiana, your physical therapist is able to evaluate and treat your condition for 24 consecutive days without any order or signed care plan (3). 
  6. I have to go to the physical therapy facility my doctor recommended You are able to be seen at any physical therapy facility you like. Not all clinics are created equal. It is important to be given a comprehensive examination and treatment plan individualized to your needs. In addition, the research shows that patients do better with a combination of manual therapy and exercise, not exercise alone. Please don’t forget, you don’t need to be injured or flared up to come back and see us. A quick refresher on that home exercise program you have gotten away from or reassurance that things have continued to improve following your discharge are just two reasons to consider returning.
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