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Debunked: The Biggest Myths About Physical Therapy

physical therapy

If you’re experiencing illness, injury, or general wear and tear of muscles, bones, tendons, or ligaments, you might be seeking physical therapy. Physical therapy can provide an array of solutions customized to your specific needs and goals.

As one of the first steps in the recovery process, a physician might refer you to a physical therapist as a conservative approach to not only revitalizing your physical health and well-being but also maintaining it.

However, there are common misconceptions about physical therapy that may keep you from seeking the physical care you need to get back to doing what you love.

What is Physical Therapy?

Functional movement of different body parts following injury, illness, or general wear and tear is achieved through physical therapy. Combining various stretches, motions, and strengthening exercises, physical therapy can be used as both a corrective and preventative measure for physical health and wellness.

Reducing pain, improving and restoring mobility, and leading a healthy, active lifestyle can be a complex process. While the end result is to get back to doing the things you love or to live a healthier life, the road to that result is unique to every individual.

Given that everyone experiences something different through their physical therapy experience, there are some common misconceptions that arise.

Common Myths About Physical Therapy 

Physical Therapy is for Injuries Only 

A car accident or athletic injury are reasons the seek out a good physical therapist. However, injury isn’t the only reason why an individual may need physical therapy.

Day-to-day problems like arthritis, muscle soreness, carpal tunnel, and more can cause a lot of discomfort. A physical therapist can help relieve these common ailments with a tailored approach, using exercises and other strategies to eliminate pain, strengthen focus areas, and prevent further problems in the future.

Prevention is common in physical therapy techniques. These are less invasive than surgery and the recovery time associated with surgery.

Physical Therapy is Painful 

As with any injury or everyday ailment, there may be some pain and discomfort associated with the healing process. However, assuming that the entire physical therapy journey will be excruciatingly painful is false.

The main goal of physical therapy is to minimize this pain and discomfort over time. Being vocal about your pain threshold with your physical therapist is important, as this will determine your level of function and movement for each physical therapy session. If you notice more pain with the given exercises, your physical therapist will be able to adjust your treatment plan to accommodate your needs and not cause further pain or problems moving forward.

You Won’t Get Quality Care Because of Time Constraints 

While you are waffling on the idea of physical therapy because “it might hurt,” think about what may happen if you don’t begin physical therapy at the appropriate time. Ignoring your injury or ailments can result in further medical costs ranging from prescription drug costs to imaging scans, surgery, and more.

With the option for longer one-on-one sessions available, especially with cash-only physical therapy options, you will receive the highest level of care possible. This also ensures that your one-on-one physical therapy is committed to your entire rehab process from start to finish.

Your physical therapist may even be available in between visits and after the physical therapy recovery program is complete for further injury prevention and overall health/wellness. 

You Can Do Physical Therapy on Your Own 

Seeking the expert care and guidance of a licensed physical therapist is the best option for pain relief and getting yourself back to a healthier lifestyle.

You might think you know everything there is to know about your injury based solely on your pain points and pain threshold. However, there may be more associated with your injury or everyday ailment than you think.

For example, hip and thigh pain might be tied to other injuries such as a knee injury, IT band strain, or nerve issue. Without the proper expertise and evaluation provided by a trained physical therapist, those issues may go undiagnosed and will cause more problems down the line.

Surgery is the Only Option for Recovery 

Surgery is not always the only option you have when it comes to recovering from an injury or ailment. A qualified physical therapist can treat everything from rotator cuff problems to degenerative disk disease with physical therapy.

Physical therapy is often the more effective and safer option (in comparison to surgery/recovery time, prescription painkillers, etc.) Your physical therapist will provide a thorough evaluation of your symptoms to determine if physical therapy techniques will work for you.

Wellness and Injury Prevention With Inspire Physical Therapy

Trying to stay healthy and fit but hitting roadblocks due to injury, illness, or chronic pain? Our team of physical therapists is here to help get you back to a pain-free and active lifestyle.

At Inspire Physical Therapy, we help everyone from active adults and athletes to busy professionals and new moms. Offering a customized one-on-one for a full hour with your doctor each visit and knowing the demands of your busy life, we treat the body as a whole and know that one specific injury or pain point might not reflect the actual cause of discomfort.

Contact us to speak with a physical therapist and schedule your appointment today.


Dr. Alan Hivale

Inspire Physical Therapy