5 Common Physiotherapy Myths Debunked
We often hear of physiotherapy myths from current and potential patients. We thought it would be helpful to dispel the most common myths that we hear on a regular basis so you can make the best decision in choosing a healthcare provider who will help you improve your health.
Physiotherapists are movement experts who help resolve/reduce pain without drugs and surgery, and get people from all ages back to living their best life. The physiotherapy profession is a key rehabilitation profession with over 3,700 physiotherapists registered across Alberta.
Myth #1: A Physician referral/prescription is required to access a physiotherapy assessment.
Physiotherapy can be accessed by the public directly, meaning that no referral or prescription is needed from a physician to book an appointment. However, some insurance/benefit plans may require a referral in order to cover the costs of treatment, so it’s worth checking into this prior to making an appointment unless you’re planning to pay out of pocket.
Myth #2: Physiotherapy is painful.
In all likelihood, you’re interested in coming to physiotherapy because you’re in pain as a result of an injury or specific condition such as arthritis. It’s possible to feel a little more sore during an assessment because a physiotherapist will need to understand the limits of your movement and strength. That being said, physiotherapy treatments itself should not hurt.
The priority is to not only to get rid of your pain, but also get you moving and functioning optimally without pain. This will mean that you’ll need to put in some effort to practice moving better and getting stronger, which may push you out of your comfort zone at times.
Myth #3: Physiotherapy is only for long-standing chronic injuries.
The benefits of physiotherapy are extremely wide-ranging and the umbrella of physiotherapy covers everything from sports injuries to pre- and post-op rehabilitation, cardiorespiratory conditions, neurological conditions and motor function, women’s health, chronic pain, paediatrics, and more. Physiotherapists even provide injury prevention programs for those who want to live healthier and be stronger, as well as to optimize performance.
Regardless of whether you’re experiencing an acute injury or a stubborn, chronic condition, a physiotherapist can help you get back to living well.
Myth #4: Physiotherapy isn’t covered by extended health benefit plans.
Many extended health benefit plans provide insurance coverage. This reimbursement structure can vary from full coverage for sessions to a certain coverage amount per visit with varying annual limits. It’s best to check to see how much your plan covers, but most insurance companies will cover a certain amount of physiotherapy.
At Innovation Physical Therapy we have established direct billing relationships with 14 insurance providers so you don’t have to pay out of pocket while waiting to get reimbursed.
Myth #5: Physiotherapists just hook you up to machines or provide massage.
Physiotherapists are great first line practitioners. They will screen you for red flags and let you know if a trip to the ER is warranted. Many also have advanced practice skills that may include ordering imaging (such as X-rays and MRIs).
For treatment, they will use a combination of hands-on techniques such as manual therapy and soft tissue release, as well as targeted therapeutic exercise to help you with whatever injury or illness you are dealing with. Some will use further advanced skills in their treatment such as manipulating the spine (aka. performing “adjustments”), and needling (i.e., acupuncture, dry-needling/IMS, etc.).
Don’t be surprised if your rehab is very active, and don’t be surprised if it targets different areas than those you seem to have the problem with. Everything is connected!
Get our Free Guide with the 12 Key Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Physiotherapist!
Make sure you choose a physiotherapy clinic that is right for you with this free guide where we outline the 12 key questions you should be asking before deciding on a clinic and therapist. Download the free guide now.
Do You Have Questions?
You may have additional questions and we’d love to answer them. Don’t hesitate to give us a call and we’ll make sure to answer any questions relating to physiotherapy.
Looking for a skilled Physiotherapist in the Edmonton area? Book an appointment with one of Innovation Physical Therapy’s experienced physiotherapists by calling one of our 6 clinics located throughout Edmonton and Sherwood Park including Riverbend, Meadowlark, Belvedere, Namao, Sherwood Park or our newest clinic in West Henday.