Misconceptions about Physical Therapy, part 2

Mar 19, 2024
misc image
Part 2 in a series of posts to help clarify some widely held misconceptions about Physical Therapy. This part specifically addresses "fixing" people and the "pain" of Physical Therapy.

Myth: Physical Therapists “fix” people

Truth: Whatever ailment or deficit that results in seeking out Physical Therapy started from somewhere, whether it be an injury, an illness, or a physiological response to activity or aging. Physical Therapy provides diagnosis, education, and treatments for a wide range of health conditions and musculoskeletal changes. Through these methods, a solid foundation for recovery and continued maintenance is provided.

               As stated on choosept.com, created by the American Physical Therapy Association, “Physical therapists and Physical Therapist Assistants help you maximize your movement, manage pain, avoid surgery and prescription drugs, manage chronic (long-term) conditions, and recover from and prevent injury.” In some instances, there are medical conditions or physical changes that can not be fixed, or require a different type of intervention, which, unfortunately means that some pains and difficulties will require continued efforts over a longer term to prevent recurrence or regression.


Myth: Physical Therapy is painful

Truth: In cases where you are getting Physical Therapy after a surgery, or when we are attempting to elicit a large change in the properties of a muscle or joint, there may unfortunately be some pain involved but pain is not the goal. The typical expected response to PT may be some muscle soreness, like a workout, or some discomfort but if you are experiencing actual pain after your visits, let your clinician know and things should be adjusted. Although there are times we may have to push things a bit more than we would like in order to gain mobility, pain management and/or relief is often an established goal in a Physical Therapy plan of care. Our goal is to get you moving more effectively, without pain or limitations - we definitely do not aim to hurt you!