As physiotherapists working in a busy clinic, we answer questions all day long about pain, exercises, returning to sport and activities, and about how long it will take to heal. We often find that a patient who is less familiar with the physiotherapy profession tends to believe one or more of the following statements/myths.
Myth #1: Physiotherapy is only for athletes and for the post-surgical patient
Physiotherapists are experts of human movement and our job is to help restore and to maintain mobility and function. Physiotherapists treat people of all ages and do not limit treatment only to those who are physically active or who have undergone surgery to correct mobility. If you just happened to wake up one day with pain you can’t explain, or your neck and shoulder are bothering you when you sit at your desk at the office and you cannot figure out why, do not hesitate to pop in to see a physio for help.
Myth #2: Physiotherapy is only for people who are in pain
Just because we are up and moving and it is pain free, does not necessarily mean that all of our muscles are strong, that our joints are moving well, or that our body mechanics are best for us. A large part of physiotherapy focuses on injury prevention. Through observation and testing, physiotherapists are able to pick up on abnormal body mechanics and weaknesses and to provide advice and exercise on how to rectify these abnormalities in order to prevent injury in the future.
Myth #3: A doctor’s referral is needed to see a physiotherapist
A doctor’s referral is not required to see a physiotherapist. Physiotherapists are primary healthcare providers. Through our extensive training and education, we are able to diagnosis injuries and start treatment right away. In some circumstances we may send a letter back to your MD asking for additional testing to help further assess the injury and give more accurate prognosis of recovery.
Myth #4: My physiotherapist is going to make me stop doing my regular activities
While conducting the initial assessment, your physiotherapist will determine which activities are appropriate for you. We like to keep people moving, so the goal is always to keep people as active as possible during the rehab process. Our job is to help you achieve your goals, whether that’s maintaining your physical activity, playing with your kids, or keeping you healthy to enjoy that special holiday with your family.
Hopefully clearing up these myths makes it easier to determine if physiotherapy is the appropriate choice for you. See you soon!