If you’re recovering from an injury or dealing with chronic pain, your doctor may have suggested for you to go to physical therapy or chiropractic treatments. However, if you’ve never gone to physical therapy, you may not know what to expect. You may have even heard certain untruths about the therapy that are making you reluctant to set up an appointment.
Here are some common misconceptions about physical therapy that you shouldn’t believe.
Physical Therapy Is Solely for Athletes.
Football players and other professional athletes put a lot of stress on their body, so they have a higher risk of suffering injuries. Many of them do go to physical therapy to recover from their injuries. However, athletes aren’t the only ones who can benefit from seeing a physical therapist. Physical therapists treat many types of patients, including those who pull a muscle while jogging and office workers who develop back pain from prolonged sitting.
Physical Therapy Is Painful
As a Lanham, MD physical therapist from AmeriWell Clinics can confirm, some people assume that physical therapy hurts. Since no one likes to feel pain, this can prevent some people from going to physical therapy. Fortunately, physical therapy isn’t painful if it is performed by a trained and licensed therapist. Physical therapy is supposed to reduce your pain and discomfort, not cause it.
Insurance Doesn’t Cover Physical Therapy.
Unfortunately, some people avoid getting physical therapy because they assume their health insurance company won’t cover it. However, many insurance companies nowadays recognize the benefits of physical therapy and cover at least a portion of it.
You Need a Doctor’s Referral for Physical Therapy.
Gone are the days where you need your doctor’s referral to see a physical therapist. While your doctor can definitely still give you a referral for a physical therapist, it is not a requirement. If you have been experiencing chronic pain, you don’t need your doctor’s permission to go to physical therapy.
If I’m Unable to Perform Vigorous Exercises, Physical Therapy Isn’t for Me.
If you are recovering from an injury or feel chronic pain, you obviously can’t perform running or other strenuous exercises. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t undergo physical therapy. Your physical therapist can adjust your exercises around your pain level and tolerance.
After You Are Released from Physical Therapy, That’s It.
While it may feel great to get discharged from physical therapy, it does not mean that the healing process is over. Your physical therapist may advise you to continue performing certain exercises every week to avoid re-injuring yourself. He or she may also have you adjust the way you bend and lift things.
Physical Therapy Isn’t Effective
Unfortunately, some people still do not think that physical therapy is an effective treatment, and is much the same with perceptions of chiropractic. The truth is that physical therapy can alleviate pain, increase mobility, reduce falls and increase range of motion. However, you can’t expect to notice results overnight. If you stick with your program, you are more likely to heal.
If you have been experiencing chronic pain, a physical therapist may be able to help.