8 Myths and Truths about Physiotherapy
“Physiotherapists only see people in pain.”
“Physiotherapy requires a doctor’s note.”
“Physiotherapists only treat athletes.”
If you’ve ever had one of these thoughts, you aren’t alone. Many people let misconceptions about physiotherapy stop them from making an appointment, even if they need one! To clear the confusion, here are the top 8 physiotherapy myths and truths:
1) A physiotherapist is the same as a chiropractor or massage therapist.
Physiotherapists, chiropractors and massage therapists are similar in that they use hands-on techniques to treat a variety of conditions. However, your physiotherapist will combine these hands-on techniques with a guided exercise program to get you back to your activities faster. All of our physiotherapy clients receive some type of program to regain range of motion, correct faulty movement patterns or increase strength. Not only does guided exercise help you recover faster, but it also helps you maintain the gains you make in therapy between sessions.
2) If I can just do exercises at home I don’t need to see a physiotherapist.
It’s the combination of hands-on therapy and exercise, not just exercise alone, that works together to get you better. Your physiotherapist will correct stiff and tight areas in the body so you can perform the exercises properly. The exercise program will be appropriate to your condition and the stage of healing. Your physiotherapy will also be able to correct your form while doing the exercises, so as not to aggravate the injury or cause new problems.
3) Physiotherapists only see athletes.
False! Physiotherapists work with all age groups (children, adults and seniors) and work with the general public as well as athletes.
4) Physiotherapists only see people who are in pain or after surgery.
Many people don’t realize they can see a physiotherapist for preventative maintenance or to optimize their current performance. Seeing a physiotherapist before you have pain allows us to correct any small issues before they turn into bigger problems. Whether you’re a competitive athlete, a weekend warrior, looking to shoot the golfball father or skate faster, we can help you achieve your goals. If you’re scheduled for surgery having “prehabilitation” will give you more range of motion and strength, allowing for an easier recovery. So don’t wait until you’re in pain to see your physiotherapist.
5) When you see a physiotherapist, you just lay on the bed and get an ice or heat pack.
At Health Partners, we use an active approach to your treatments. Sessions will include hands-on techniques such as manual therapy and soft tissue release as well as learning a guided exercise program. We like to focus on the hands-on treatments while you’re here with us…all the things you can’t do by yourself.
6) If I have elbow pain then the injury must be in my elbow.
Pain in one body part can actually be representing an issue in a different body part. When you see your physiotherapist they will often check the joints above and below where you are feeling pain to rule out other underling problems. Clients are often surprised to hear our initial assessments are 1 hour and our follow-ups are 30 minutes. But this allows us to assess and treat all of the areas that are contributing to your pain.
7) I can’t do any of my normal activities while I attend physiotherapy.
Incorrect! Your physiotherapist will help you determine what activities you can and can’t do while you are recovering. Our goal is to keep you as functional as possible while allowing the injury to heal.
8) I need a doctor’s referral to come to physiotherapy?
Physiotherapists are primary care practitioners, which means you don’t require a doctor’s note to make an appointment. However, if you have benefits make sure you check with your insurance company to see what they need to cover your physiotherapy appointments.
Please feel free to contact Health Partners at (705) 730-1533 if you have any further inquires or to book a physiotherapy appointment.