10 Myths About Physical Therapy
Physical Therapy is widely misunderstood, especially if you have never gone through it. There are many kinds of therapies, from occupational to physical, but we will discuss specifically physical therapy and the myths our physical therapists at MPOWER hear every day.
- Physical Therapy is Not Necessary
Depending on your injury or condition, it may not be! However, most doctors will first refer you to a physical therapist before going into more invasive treatments for certain injuries and conditions. If you have a type of injury that will lead to needing surgery, you will certainly need physical therapy. Patients often ask, “why do I need surgery and physical therapy?” and this is a question we could write a novel on. Most importantly, the part of your body that undergoes surgery will “shut down” meaning the muscles around the affected area will be weak. A physical therapist will help you get your strength back after surgery by teaching you different exercises and stretches to do over the next few weeks.
Other than surgery, physical therapy is a great tool even for injuries that do not require surgery. A physical therapist is an expert on knowing what muscles you need to strengthen or stretch for your pain to subside. Our physical therapists at MPOWER also have state of the art technology to help with things like inflammation and pain.
- Physical Therapy is Painful
This myth is often one we here from people who have never actually been to a physical therapist. If you find the right physical therapist, they will never put you in unnecessary pain. We often must teach people the difference in pushing yourself so that you can grow and get stronger and going too hard where it may cause further damage. It is very important to have open communication with your physical therapist throughout your sessions so they can help develop the right plan for you and your body. Certain stretches may be uncomfortable at first, but it should never be overly painful.
- Physical Therapists and Chiropractors Are the Same
This is one of those widely misunderstood concepts especially regarding back pain. Most people are not sure if they should see a chiropractor or a physical therapist for their back pain. It is important to note that chiropractors are specialists in the spine and specifically spine alignment. A physical therapist will also have the knowledge of how to treat back pain but will not perform the spinal adjustments that chiropractors do. We see physical therapy as a long-term solution. We will give you the tools you need to manage your back pain so that if it flares up again, you know what to do and who to call. A chiropractor tends to be a short-term solution to a deeper issue. Always talk to your doctor if you are experiencing back pain and ask who you should see.
- You Can Do All Physical Therapy at Home
This is partly true. Most people are not able to see their physical therapist every day, so your physical therapist will give you some at home exercises to do on your own. However, that does not mean you can do all your physical therapy at home. The reason seeing a physical therapist is so important is so they can track your progress and adjust it if necessary. You are unable to do this at home without the supervision of a PT.
- At Home Exercises Are Not That Important
Your exercises at home are arguably just as (if not more) important than the ones you do with your physical therapist. Most physical therapy plans require you to do short exercises and stretches every day, and chances are you will be at home doing your exercises more than with your physical therapist. You will see the biggest changes in your strength by being committed both in the PT office and at home.
- Physical Therapy is Only for Surgery Candidates
Some people may say this because they themselves only did physical therapy after surgery. However, physical therapy can be helpful to manage a host of injuries or conditions. Our orthopedic surgeon partners at Elite Sports Medicine + Orthopedics recommend physical therapy both before and after surgery, as well as for many different injuries and conditions.
- All Physical Therapists Are the Same
This is like saying all doctors are the same. A physical therapist can specialize in any part of the body, injury, or sport. They also can have different specializations of treatment, making them a more well rounded DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy). At MPOWER, we have physical therapists who specialize in treatments such as dry needling, scaping and more! We encourage patients to choose a physical therapist you connect with on a personal level and one that specializes in treatment you may be interested in trying. You spend a lot of time with your physical therapist, so it is important you like them and are confident in their expertise.
- Physical Therapy is Expensive
This highly depends on if you have insurance. At MPOWER we accept most major insurance plans which makes all the difference in cost of physical therapy. These insurances will usually cover some if not all of the cost depending on where you are with your deductible. If you have questions about the cost of physical therapy, it is encouraged to talk with your insurance company.
- I Have to be Injured to See a Physical Therapist
Though it is common for patients to have an injury or condition they are trying to manage, at MPOWER, we see patients and athletes come in for preventative treatment and recovery all the time! It is common for athletes to want to stay on top of their recovery to prevent future injuries. If you are a weekend warrior or a professional athlete physical therapy can be an important tool to stay healthy.
- I Can Just Research PT Exercises on My Own
If you have DPT at the end of your name, research away! But if you are not a trained professional, it might be like throwing darts in the dark. Physical therapists will know your issues and how to solve it much more efficiently than the world wide web who is always changing and not always accurate. To prevent further damaging the injury, we highly encourage seeking medical advice from… medical professionals. If you have questions, call our office at any of our locations here.