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Don’t Fall for These 6 Myths about Physical Therapy

There are many misconceptions about the field of physical therapy.  Below are some common myths about PT that often challenge people from choosing or using a physical therapist in addressing their injuries and pain.  Physical therapists come with a diverse set of skills and knowledge that can positively impact your quality of life. Physical therapy can improve your ability to move as well as help you become more dedicated to health and wellness.

A physician referral or prescription is required to see a PT.

This is false.  Nebraska is a “direct-access” state meaning that you are able to go and receive services from a licensed physical therapist without a physician order.  However, if you are going to pay for PT services with your health insurance, there are some companies that require a physician’s prescription. Make sure that you call your health insurance company to see what it might require if you are going to pursue services!  If you are wanting to come to OPTI for physical therapy, our office manager can check your insurance benefits prior to you initiating services if you call and give her your information.

PT is painful. 

This is false if you are going to a good physical therapist.  Physical therapy has traditionally been deemed painful but if your physical therapist is up to date with the most current research on pain science, they will know that there is no gain with pain!  All of OPTI’s physical therapists want you to leave your session feeling better then when you walked in the door!  Our PT interventions are geared towards calming your nervous system, thereby decreasing your pain levels.

PT is only for injuries or accidents.

This is false.  Physical therapy does address general injuries or injuries secondary to an accident.  However, physical therapy is also beneficial for chronic pain, cancer-related pain/deconditioning/weakness, decreased balance/safety, flexibility issues and gait difficulties.  Physical therapy is also a useful tool in the prevention of injury/pain.

Any healthcare professional can perform physical therapy, including coaches and personal trainers.

This is false.  Physical Therapists have to undergo extensive and intense education and training in the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems so that they are able to perform a comprehensive evaluation of your presenting issue.  Most physical therapists graduating today will receive a doctoral degree in the field, making them the go to healthcare professional for musculoskeletal and neuromuscular injuries.

PT isn’t covered by health insurance.

This is false.  Most health insurances, including Medicare and Medicaid, will reimburse for physical therapy services.  If you do not have health insurance, most clinics have a private pay option as well.

Surgery is the only option. 

This is false.  Surgery is a last resort intervention.  Most surgeons will agree with me on this.  There have been several studies in recent years showing the effectiveness of physical therapy in decreasing the need for surgical intervention.

Happy Physical Therapy Month!!!  Make sure to choose physical therapy for your injuries and pain!!!

Katie Cordery, PT

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