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Most Common Physical Therapy Myths Busted


Are you unsure if physical therapy is beneficial or even necessary?

The truth is…

Physical therapy can be extremely helpful for many different types of injuries and ailments.

In this article, we’re busting the top physical therapy myths to help you understand how physical therapists can help you be your best self physically.

Table of Contents

Physical Therapy Defined

Physical therapy is a health profession that deals with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of physical impairments.

Professionals who are trained to help people who have experienced injuries or other medical conditions to recover movement and function are known as physical therapists.

A physical therapist degree equips a person with the skills to …

  • Assess
  • Diagnose
  • Treat movement disorders

… that result from injury or disease.

This includes the ability to instruct therapeutic exercise to improve mobility and function.

Physical therapists use hands-on techniques like …

  • Massage
  • Stretching
  • Hydrotherapy (water)
  • Exercise instruction
  • Joint mobilization/manipulation

… to improve their patients’ symptoms.

Whether you are looking for relief from chronic pain or just want to improve your flexibility and range of motion, In Motion O.C. has the help you need.

Our physical therapists will work with you one-on-one to develop an individualized treatment plan tailored specifically for your needs.

Contact In Motion O.C., a premier provider of physical rehabilitation services for a free consultation today.


The Truth About 7 Physical Therapy Myths You’ve Likely Heard

Many people are confused about what physical therapy is and how it can help them.

The physical therapy world has a whole host of myths that have been circulating for years.

For the sake of your health and wellness, it’s important to know what these myths are and how they can affect you.

In the following sections, we’re busting some common myths about physical therapy that you may have heard before — followed by what’s true.

#1: Physical Therapy Is Only for Injuries

Another common myth is that physical therapy only works on patients who have injuries, but in reality, physical therapists focus on treating the whole person.

The false belief that physical therapy is only for injuries is unfounded because it has been shown that there are many benefits to including these treatments in an individual’s life by:

  • Encouraging healthy lifestyles by preventing injury.
  • Reducing the risk of physical fitness decline.
  • Boosting physical performance.

The truth: Physical therapy can help not only people suffering from injuries or chronic conditions but also people looking to maintain optimal joint health and quality of life.

#2: Physical Therapy and Chiropractors are the Same

A lot of people think a physical therapist and a chiropractor are the same, but that’s definitely not true.

Some people think that their first choice for back pain should be a chiropractor but in many cases, a physical therapist can:

  • Be helpful for patients unaware of potential long-term and short-term consequences.
  • Help you understand the true root of your pain.
  • Provide answers to what may be causing symptoms like swelling or an inability to use one part of your body.

On the other hand, physical therapists are not qualified in providing spinal adjustments like a chiropractor might be able to offer for patients with back and neck problems.

The truth: Although it may seem like physical therapists and chiropractors do the same thing, they each have different approaches to pain management.


#3: Physical Therapists Only Do Massage Therapy

Myths and misunderstandings about the profession are common and are easily perpetuated by pop-cultural portrayals.
For example…

A recent Hollywood movie in which a physical therapist is seen massaging a patient’s neck — but is only seen doing this one techniquereinforces the misconception that this is all they do.

The truth: Physical therapists employ a variety of techniques to help their patients including …

  • Hydrotherapy
  • Massage therapy
  • Exercise instruction
  • Joint mobilization and manipulation

… and more.

#4: Physical Therapy Is Expensive

Physical therapy is not as expensive as some people think it is.

Physical therapy can cost anywhere from $50- to $200+ a visit.

If you compare the cost of physical therapy to a surgery that may cost as high as $7,000+, the affordability is more reasonable.

There is no doubt, physical therapy can be expensive for people who are uninsured or underinsured but there are ways to make it more affordable, including:

  • Out of pocket costs
  • Payment plans
  • Sliding scales

The truth: Physical therapists can bill your insurance and work with you so that you can afford treatment.

In Motion O.C. is willing to work with you.

Contact us to learn more about our affordable prices and payment plans so that you can get an appointment with a physical therapist today.


#5: Physical Therapy Requires a Referral

The myth behind the idea that you need a referral for physical therapy is not always true.

Unless you’re using insurance, you may not need a physical to see a physical therapist.

A referral may be needed for other types of treatment, but generally, you can just walk into a physical therapist’s office and ask about treatments.

If your doctor has prescribed physical therapy as part of your recovery plan, the physical therapist might want to know your diagnosis.

A physical therapist can tell you if physical therapy is right for your condition.

The truth: Physical therapy does not require a referral. Many physical therapy clinics have their own physician on staff, and they can diagnose your physical condition.

#6: Physical Therapy Is Painful

Although the work you do during therapy can be physically challenging, you should not expect to be in pain.

Yes, physical therapy can be tough.

However, without physical therapy, your body would not heal and you would not get stronger.

Your physical therapist can modify your movements if it gets too difficult or uncomfortable for you.

The more you communicate with your physical therapist about…

  • What physical limitation you have
  • What your physical therapy goals are; and
  • How physical therapy is going

… the better physical therapy will work for you.

Patients are often surprised to find out that working with a professional physical therapist rarely involves any painful treatments.

The truth: Physical therapy should not hurt when performed by a physical therapist.

#7: Physical Therapy Can be Done at Home Without Supervision

Physical therapy is good for you. But it’s best when done with a trained professional.

Doing physical therapy at home without help can make your problem worse.

For example, unguided physical therapy exercises can lead to …

  • Injury
  • Exacerbated symptoms 
  • Lack of progress

… due to incorrect form.

However, you may be able to perform some exercises as prescribed by a physical therapist in between your sessions.

The truth: To assure safety while completing a home exercise program it is best to consult with a Doctor of Physical Therapy before attempting any exercises on your own.


What Myths About Physical Therapy Have You Heard? Could You Benefit From Physical Therapy? In Motion O.C.’s Experts Can Help You Determine the Right Course of Action

Have you heard the myths about physical therapy?

Physical therapy is a great way to improve your health. It can help with pain, mobility, and more.

But there are some misconceptions out there that might be holding you back from getting the treatment you need.

We’ve debunked these myths for you so that you know what to expect when it comes to physical therapy.

If any of these myths sound familiar, then contact us today.

Our experts will help determine if physical therapy is right for your needs or not.

You deserve the best care possible and we’re here to provide it for you.

Set up a consultation with In Motion O.C.’s experts today by clicking below.


In Motion O.C.