Think you might need physical therapy, but have some questions or concerns? Below are some common misconceptions regarding physical therapy and answers that will hopefully give you peace of mind and help you feel less hesitant to start Physical Therapy (PT) if the need arises.
Common Misconceptions about Physical Therapy
- An orthopedist or other specialist has to send me to PT.
- Your primary care doctor can send you to physical therapy before you are ever sent to a specialist which may mean that you do not have to see a specialist at all. This, in turn, will save you time and money. Other health care providers that can refer you to PT include OB/GYN doctors (who are used like primary care providers by many younger females particularly), chiropractors, dentists, and orthodontists.
- I have to go to the PT at my doctor’s office/wherever he refers me.
- Many orthopedic offices have their own PT clinics and will refer you to their on-staff therapists. Sometimes just the way the paper work is done and the fact that the PT office is down the hall may make you feel like you HAVE to go to their clinic, but you don’t. You can go to ANY clinic that you want when being referred to physical therapy.
- Physical therapy hurts. No pain no gain.
- While some injuries and conditions are more uncomfortable than others and may take working through some pain to make the gains needed, our goal is ALWAYS to minimize your pain while you are doing therapy. We offer many approaches to therapy and treatments that can minimize pain if you are especially hesitant to get started for that reason. Also, while attending therapy, let us know if something hurts so we can make it feel better—that’s what you’re here for!
- Physical therapy won’t help. I just need surgery.
- Many diagnoses and ailments can be treated with PT without the need for surgery to happen at all. While surgery is needed for certain injuries, we help many people avoid all kinds of surgery including back, neck, shoulder, and others. Now with that being said, getting good results from PT does take work on your part. Keeping up with your home exercise program and doing what your therapist recommends is vital to your recovery so you must do your part to give it a fair chance.
- I can look up what to do online and just do some exercises on my own.
- While the internet is a vast wealth of knowledge, getting a thorough evaluation and knowing exactly which exercises are best for you is crucial in helping you get the best results. Some exercises you may find online for a certain pain or problem could actually be harmful if you do not know the underlying cause of your issue. Here at the Cantrell Center, we always do a thorough evaluation so that we can set up an individualized program that specifically addresses your needs. If you prefer doing things on your own or have a high insurance co-pay, we can often set you up with a good home program and see you periodically to update and progress it as needed. Coming in for that evaluation will ensure you get on the right track!
- PT is too expensive. I don’t think my insurance will cover it.
- Health care can be expensive, but most insurances do cover physical therapy. If you do have a high co-pay or are without insurance, do not let your health suffer due to a lack of coverage. We are happy to work out payment plans with you so that you can get the care you need without hurting your wallet. Also, when possible, we can try to minimize the frequency of your sessions to further minimize your cost.
- I have had PT before, and it didn’t help.
- Many people are under the impression that they have had physical therapy before because they have been charged for PT services or been told they are having PT. While some health care facilities may charge you a physical therapy service (for example, a doctor may give you a handout of exercises, or a chiropractor may apply electrical stimulation to you after your adjustment), you have not had true physical therapy if you have not been evaluated by a licensed physical therapist then treated by either a licensed physical therapist or licensed physical therapist assistant.
- The best place to receive physical therapy is from an independently owned and licensed physical therapy facility like the Cantrell Center. Even if you have received physical therapy services from a licensed physical therapist or physical therapist assistant, not all physical therapy is equal. You may have had physical therapy at a place that sent you off to do some exercises on your own, but did not really guide your care. Here at the Cantrell Center we strive to give each patient individualized, quality care. You will receive a thorough evaluation followed by specialized treatment designed to meet your needs. I have seen many patients who have had physical therapy at other facilities who realize the difference in care once they are treated here.
About the Author
Jamie Locher, DPT, PRC, is one of only 5 Postural Restoration Certified Physical Therapists in the state of Georgia. She is an Alumni of the University of Georgia where she received her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology. She went on to get her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2009 from the Medical College of Georgia. Jamie grew up on a farm right here in Middle Georgia and knew she would likely return after finishing school. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with husband, Rusty, their family and their pets; going to Church, painting, and most anything outdoors. She and husband, Rusty, are expecting their first child, a baby girl, this summer.