Top 3 Physical Therapy Myths Debunked

Physical therapy is widely acknowledged as a health-supporting and restorative practice used by many for the remediation of pain or injury, the prevention of adverse health conditions, and the maintenance of an active, vibrant lifestyle.

There are, however, also some myths that, left unchallenged, might prevent people from taking full advantage of the many benefits of physical therapy. In this article, we’ll shed some light on the top three physical therapy myths.

Myth #1:
Physical therapy is the same as a spa massage.

Spa massages can be quite wonderful, relaxing, and even therapeutic. Massage therapists are trained professionals, and the service they provide is a valuable one. It is not, however, the same thing as therapeutic massage used by a licensed physical therapist as part of a care plan.
While massage therapy in the context of physical therapy can be relaxing and enjoyable, the primary purpose here is to use it as one of several modalities that are specifically chosen to support the health goals for your physical therapy care plan.
Physical therapists undertake a different type and amount of training to use massage therapy as part of their care plans, and the goal is to promote the successful completion of the plan, whether that is recovering from injury, preparing for surgery, or building up resilience and balance.

Myth #2:
Physical therapy is just someone making me exercise.

Physical therapy does involve the guided use of exercises that will help you achieve the goal of your care plan. These could be range of motion exercises, balance exercises, strength building exercises, or exercises designed to help you regain functionality in an area that has suffered injury.
In addition to doing assisted and/or guided exercises in your physical therapy sessions, there may also be some exercises you will be encouraged to do at home to support your well-being.
That having been said, there is more to physical therapy than exercising. Your physical therapist will assess your current condition and your needs, and design a customized care plan to help you achieve your goals. This plan will most likely include several modalities in addition to exercises. Depending on your specific circumstances, these could range from therapeutic massage and ultrasound to electrical stimulation, moist heat, ice therapy, and more.

Myth #3:
Any doctor can do physical therapy.

Physical therapy is its own specialty, and the type of care it affords patients can only be provided by licensed and credentialed physical therapists. Some physicians or medical specialists may also be licensed physical therapists, so in those cases they would be able to create a physical therapy care plan and carry out treatment. The bottom line is that the only professionals able to provide physical therapy are those who have successfully completed the years of specific and thorough training required to be a licensed physical therapist.

Now that these top three myths are out of the way, are you thinking the benefits of physical therapy might be right for you? Reach out to the experts at Core 3 Physical Therapy today to find out!

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