Have you ever wanted to try physiotherapy but didn’t follow through? If so, you are not alone. Plenty of people let fear of the unknown keep them from pursuing potentially life-changing medical treatment.
Fear isn’t the only reason some people don’t give physiotherapy a try. Believing myths about physiotherapy is another reason. The frustrating thing is that you don’t know you are believing a myth until you learn the truth. Discover some common misunderstandings about physiotherapy below.
Don’t Let These 4 Myths About Physiotherapy Prevent You From Giving It a Try
1. “I need a referral from my doctor” — This is not necessarily the case. Whether or not you’ll need a referral from a general practitioner will depend on where you live and possibly the type of insurance you have. For example, in Canada a physiotherapist is considered a firstline healthcare provider, therefore a referral is not needed to make an appointment.
If you’re not sure if you need a referral to see a physiotherapist, call a local physiotherapy office and ask.
2. “Physiotherapy is just for people in pain” — Physiotherapy treats a wide variety of health issues, not just pain like some people think. While physiotherapy can be a very effective solution for pain, it also treats the following conditions, as well as many more, according to Therapia:
- Tendonitis and tendon tears
- Joint Dislocation and/or Joint Instability
- Various forms of Arthritis including Osteoarthritis
- Following Joint Surgery to repair meniscus, tendons, ligaments (e.g. ACL)
- After a joint replacement (Total Knee Replacement, Hip Arthroplasty)
- Motor Vehicle Accident Injuries including Whiplash
- Muscle weakness and muscle tears
- General problems involving balance and falls risk
- General Fatigue and Deconditioning
A physiotherapist will be straightforward in letting you know whether or not he or she can treat your condition, so don’t hesitate to ask.
3. “I can get the same results by exercising on my own” — This belief can be very misleading. While creating your own exercise plan may help you get in shape, it may also aggravate symptoms of a medical condition if you have one. For example, if you have an untreated sports injury and begin a self-directed weight training program, you could end up injuring yourself. Play it safe by allowing a physiotherapist to create an exercise regime for you.
4. “Physiotherapy will hurt” — Physiotherapy may feel uncomfortable at times, especially in the beginning or after surgery, but it will most likely never be very painful. A physiotherapist is skilled at challenging you physically while ensuring you stay relatively comfortable. If a physiotherapy exercise is painful, please let your physiotherapist know so he or she can modify it for you. Don’t let fear of pain keep you from participating in a physiotherapy program if you need treatment.
What Questions Do You Have About Physiotherapy?
What is holding you back from trying physiotherapy? What questions do you have about this exercise-based, drug-free treatment? Give your local physiotherapy clinic a call to schedule an appointment and find out if physiotherapy is an appropriate and helpful treatment option for you.