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"Will Physical Therapy Help Me?" | The Top 4 Myths About PT

So you've got something going on that's affecting the way you want to live your life. Maybe it's knee or back pain keeping you from gardening, maybe it's a shoulder problem that doesn't seem to go away, or maybe someone told you that you have a herniated disc and you aren't sure what to do with that.

Someone might have recommended that you see a physical therapist, but you've never been to one and you aren't sure what to expect.

If you aren't sure or you have questions, please give our office a call today or email one of our staff members here at CustomFit Concierge. We are happy to listen to your story and talk through your options at no-charge.

Next, let's discuss a few of the myths about physical therapy.

"I need a referral to see a physical therapist."

Not necessarily true. Typically, you don't need to have a script/referral to go see a physical therapist first -- you can do what's called "direct access," and go and see the physical therapist without having to go see another medical professional first.

That being said, sometimes some states do not have direct access to PT and there may be some insurances that require it as well in order to get reimbursed for services.

The best thing to do is call the physical therapy practice's office number and inquire -- we are happy to point you in the right direction.

"I heard that physical therapy is always painful."

Sometimes, but not always -- it depends on what phase of physical therapy you're in, such as being post-op from surgery or just wanting to be able to get around your house on your own.

Sometimes there will be scar tissue that needs to be broken down. There are going to be ranges of motion that need to be attained so you can reach overhead and sit down in a chair.

Plus, everyone has a different sensitivity and threshold for pain, so some might report more discomfort than other. As you progress, and you get to phase three, phase four words more return to sport/activity, that I would not deem is more painful, but actually more fun, get to go back to doing the things you want to do.

"I can just see my chiro or personal trainer -- they said they do physical therapy."

The ONLY healthcare provider that can perform physical therapy is a licensed physical therapist.

Physical therapists currently have to go through undergrad and graduate with a bachelor's degree, attend three years postgrad, graduate with a doctorate in physical therapy, and sit for a national licensing exam. Some go on to continue their education by specializing in a particular area, like geriatrics, pediatrics, orthopedics, sports, women's health, etc. All in, your PT may have somewhere between 6-10+ years of education in physical therapy, so if you're looking to work with someone who can offer physical therapy, a licensed physical therapist is the person to go to.

"Surgery is my only friend and/or doctor told me PT won't help."

Not necessarily true. For things like degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, meniscal tears, some forms of arthritis, PT can absolutely help. Surgery does not have to be your only option and imaging (MRI, X ray), while the report may show areas of abnormalities, it does not always indicate surgery should be the first option.

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