More Physical Therapy Myths Debunked

Physical therapy has brought relief from pain, increased functionality, and improved quality of life to many people. Although it is widely recognized as a versatile and highly effective branch of healthcare, there are still a few myths out there about what physical therapy is, who it can help, and what it can accomplish.

In a previous article, we helped debunk three of the most common myths about physical therapy. Here’s a recap:

  • Physical therapy is the same as a spa massage. False. Massage therapy is used by physical therapists as one of several modalities specifically chosen to support your health and the goals for your physical therapy care plan.


  • Physical therapy is just someone making you exercise. False. Depending on your specific circumstances, your care plan could include a range of modalities in addition to exercise, from therapeutic massage and ultrasound to electrical stimulation, moist heat, ice therapy, and more.

  • Any doctor can do physical therapy. False. Physical therapy is its own specialty, and the type of care it affords patients can only be provided by licensed and credentialed physical therapists.

In this article, we’ll take on three more myths to provide a clearer picture of what physical therapy is all about.

Myth #1:
You always need a referral to get physical therapy.

While you may need a referral from your primary care physician or a specialist to receive treatment with some physical therapy providers, there are other practices where the physical therapists are Direct Access Certified. This allows them to provide treatment to patients without a physician referral. The physical therapists at Core 3 Physical Therapy are Direct Access Certified, so referrals aren’t an issue when you seek care with us.

Myth #2:
Physical therapy is just for injured athletes.

There are two problems with this particular myth. The first is that physical therapy is not just for the treatment of injury. It is also a highly effective approach to wellness and preventive care, as well as a tool for aging with ease. Physical therapy promotes good posture, core strength, flexibility, balance, mobility, and independence for all people—not just those with injuries—so that they can live with the greatest degree of functionality possible.

The second problem is that physical therapy is not just for athletes. While it certainly is helpful to athletes, it’s also useful for any person who has an issue that can be addressed by the practice and modalities of physical therapy, or who simply wants to improve their posture, strength, and balance, or age more gracefully.

Myth #3:
Surgery is more effective than physical therapy.

There are certainly times when surgery is needed, and physical therapy does not seek to replace medically necessary surgery. However, there are also times when surgery can either be avoided or its level of complexity lessened by the comprehensive treatment plan of a professional physical therapist.

The myth here is that surgery is always unavoidable, and while it may be in some cases, it isn’t in others. Every person’s health and circumstances are unique, and your doctor, along with a licensed physical therapist at Core3, can help you find the least invasive and most effect path forward for you to address your particular medical issues.

Wondering if physical therapy can help you achieve better health? Call the experts at Core 3 Physical Therapy today and schedule a consult!

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