Physical therapists are movement experts who help people reduce pain, improve or restore mobility, and stay active throughout life. But there are some common misconceptions that often discourage people from seeking physical therapist treatment.
It's time to debunk 7 common myths about physical therapy:
1. Myth: I need a referral to see a physical therapist.
Fact: A recent survey by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) revealed 70% of people think a referral or prescription is required for evaluation by a physical therapist. However, a physician’s referral is not required in order to be evaluated by a physical therapist. Some states have restrictions about the treatment a physical therapist can provide without a physician referral.
2. Myth: Physical therapy is painful.
Fact: Physical therapists seek to minimize your pain and discomfort—including chronic or long-term pain. They work within your pain threshold to help you heal, and restore movement and function. The survey found that although 71% of people who have never visited a physical therapist think physical therapy is painful, that number significantly decreases among patients who have seen a physical therapist in the past year.