Misconceptions About Physical Therapy

A survey, conducted by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), found 7 common misconceptions about physical therapy. We’re here to debunk each one:

MYTH: Patients need a physician referral to visit a physical therapist.

FACT: Patient do not need a physician referral to be evaluated or treated by a physical therapist. Want to make an appointment with us? Just give us a call at 602-324-3659.

MYTH: Physical therapy is always painful.

FACT: The primary goal of a physical therapist is to lessen patient pain and discomfort. A professional physical therapist will work within each patient’s pain threshold to facilitate healing, restore movement and improve function.

MYTH: Physical therapy is only effective for injuries.

FACT: It’s so much easier to prevent an injury than it is to overcome one! In addition to providing comprehensive services for patients recovering from injuries and accidents, many physical therapists offer comprehensive fitness and wellness programs to help individuals improve function, performance, mobility, flexibility and balance to avoid injuries altogether.

MYTH: Any health care provider can perform physical therapy.

FACT: While physical therapists and other health care professionals may perform similar treatments, physical therapy can only be provided by licensed physical therapists.

MYTH: Physical therapy isn’t covered by insurance.

FACT: We hear this one a lot. Most insurance plans do offer coverage for certain forms of physical therapy. For a list of the insurance plans we accept at Peak Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation, please visit our Insurance Plans page.

Something to consider: physical therapy has proven to reduce medical expenses by helping people avoid injuries requiring medical attention, by addressing medical concerns before they become too serious, and by avoiding unnecessary medical tests, procedures and prescription medications.

MYTH: Surgery is the only solution.

FACT: In many cases, physical therapy has proven to be as effective as surgery in treating a wide range of conditions — such as rotator cuff tears, degenerative disk disease, meniscal tears and certain forms of knee osteoarthritis.

MYTH: Anyone can self-administer physical therapy.

FACT: Be careful with this one! Physical therapy, if administered incorrectly, can worsen injuries and medical conditions. Physical therapists complete a lot of specialized education and clinical training, and collaborate with patients’ health care providers, to provide expert care and guidance. This combined expertise is important for properly evaluating and diagnosing patient conditions and developing individualized plans of care.