Just Orthopedic
Author: Terry K. Gemas

If you’re considering physical therapy to minimize body pain and getting back to feeling healthy and strong, make sure you’re clear on the facts. Unfortunately, there are many people out there who are confused about the most basic facts about physical therapy and this article was written to break these misconceptions.

Common Myths About Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy is Only for Trauma and Accident Victims

Never assume that physical therapy is exclusively for physical trauma and accidents. Although some people believe that, it’s far from the truth. Physical therapists are experienced professionals who also regularly help people deal with issues such as persistent headaches and carpal tunnel syndrome — both things that usually have nothing to do with trauma and accidents.

Physical Therapy is Painful

A lot of people seem to believe that physical therapy hurts, too. The goal of physical therapy actually is to make aches and pains things of the past. Physical therapists assist their patients in recovering and healing. They assist them in regaining movement. These things are actually the polar opposites of painful and uncomfortable.

Image of a female patient exercising with a physical therapist

You Can Handle it on Your Own

Some people seem to think that they can handle their physical therapy needs all by themselves. This couldn’t be further from reality. Physical therapists have extensive clinical training and experience that qualify them to assess their patients’ needs and devise suitable and detailed treatment plans for them. Your belief of what you can do on your own cannot compete with the skills of a licensed physical therapist.

You Have to Be Referred

If you’re reluctant to see a physical therapist because you believe that you need to have a referral, don’t worry. You don’t have to have one. If you want an assessment from a physical therapist, you can make an appointment without getting a recommendation from an earlier doctor.

Not Everybody is Qualified

Some people think that any and all healthcare professionals are able to practice physical therapy. That’s in no way true or realistic. Note, that many physical therapists have board certification in specialties including women’s health, athletics, orthopedics and neurology.

Health Insurance Will Not Cover it

Many people fear going to physical therapy because they’re worried that their insurance plans won’t cover it. However, the majority of insurance plans out there provide levels of physical therapy coverage. It’s important for people also to know that physical therapy is confirmed as being able to cut costs for people.

Physical therapy assists individuals in staying away from surgeries, imaging scans and prescription medications that they simply don’t need. This kind of therapy can also cut down on costs by assisting people in not falling down and injuring themselves. It can even help keep people safe and injury-free by dealing with health conditions before they get to the chronic point — a major benefit.

Surgery is the Only Effective Treatment

Some people avoid physical surgery treatment because they incorrectly believe that surgery is the sole choice available to them. Physical therapy can often be just as successful as surgical procedures in managing many diverse medical conditions, however. Some examples of these diverse conditions include degenerative disc disease, rotator cuff tears, various types of knee osteoarthritis and even meniscal tears.

People who have experience working with physical therapists are aware of this fact. If you avoid going for a physical therapy appointment because you don’t think it will be able to help you in any way, reconsider. Physical therapy can often do a lot for people who used to believe that surgery was the sole recovery path available to them.


Just Orthopedic

Terry K. Gemas , MD

While Dr. Terry Gemas was doing his sports medicine fellowship training at the University of Miami, he treated varsity athletic teams and served as a fellow orthopedic surgeon to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers professional football team.

He has a special interest in sports related injuries as well as cutting-edge arthroscopic and other minimally invasive procedures, total joint replacement, and general fracture ...

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