Our Hyattsville physical therapists dispel 7 common myths about the field in honor of National Physical Therapy Month

hyattsville physical therapists national pt month

October 15, 2018

October is National Physical Therapy Month, which is recognized and celebrated every year by our Hyattsville physical therapists and all others in the profession around the country. The goal of the month is to increase awareness of the important role that physical therapists play in helping to reduce pain, improve mobility and encourage a healthy lifestyle in patients. In honor of this important month and the #ChoosePT campaign, we’d like to educate you on some of the most important features of our profession by dispelling some of the common myths associated with physical therapy.

Physical therapists are experts in the way the body moves. When patients come to us with an injury or painful condition, we carefully identify the source of the problem, and then create a tailored program that targets the affected area. Through this process, patients experience reductions in pain and gradually regain their ability to move and function as they did before the injury.

Though people are starting to become more aware of the numerous benefits that physical therapy can provide, there are some that are under false impressions about how it all works. In honor of National Physical Therapy Month, our Hyattsville physical therapists present you with these seven common myths and misconceptions—and the actual truths—about physical therapy.

The truth behind 7 common myths from our Hyattsville physical therapists

  • 1) You need a referral to see a physical therapist: A recent survey found that 70% of people think a referral or prescription is required to be evaluated by a physical therapist. In fact, all 50 states and Washington, D.C allow an evaluation without a referral under what’s called direct access to physical therapy.
  • 2) Physical therapy is painful: Physical therapists try to minimize your pain and discomfort—including chronic or long-term pain. They work within your pain threshold to help you heal, and restore your movement and function in the process. Although some pain is part of the process, therapists work to make it as minimal as possible.
  • 3) Physical therapy is only for injuries and accidents: Physical therapy is used for a wide range of conditions, many of which may not be due to a specific incident. It is also strongly recommended to condition the body and prevent future injuries.
  • 4) Any health care professional can perform physical therapy: Physical therapy can only be performed by a licensed physical therapist. Current physical therapists complete a three-year post-graduate degree program in which they earn a Doctorate in Physical Therapy.
  • 5) Physical therapy isn’t covered by insurance: Most insurance policies cover some amount of physical therapy, but beyond insurance coverage, physical therapy has proven to reduce costs by helping people avoid unnecessary imaging scans, surgery and/or prescription drugs like opioids. In fact, the avoidance of opioids is at the core of this year’s #ChoosePT campaign, as physical therapy provides a lasting and long-term solution to pain instead of the temporary masking of pain delivered by opioids.
  • 6) Surgery is my only option: Numerous studies have proven that physical therapy can be just as effective as surgery and used as an alternative for a wide range of conditions such as degenerative disc disease and meniscal tears in the knee.
  • 7) I can do physical therapy myself: Participation is key to a successful treatment plan, but all patients need the expert care of a licensed physical therapist to guide them to the appropriate exercise and actions to address their problem.

Our Hyattsville physical therapists hope you learned something today and that you now have a clearer understanding of how physical therapy works and the many purposes it can serve. If so, then we’ve done our part in spreading the word for National Physical Therapy Month. And for those of you who are currently dealing with any sort of pain and are not sure what to do next, we encourage you to come in to see us for an evaluation and treatment program that’s right for you. Contact CAM Physical Therapy and Wellness Services at 301-853-0093 to schedule an appointment at any of our three clinics in Laurel, Glenn Dale/Bowie or Hyattsville, or click here for more information on National Physical Therapy Month.