Physiotherapy or physical therapy is often prescribed for patients after an injury or surgery, to help him or her learn how to use certain joints or limbs safely and to regain their balance. However, there are some common misconceptions about physiotherapy and its use, which can keep you from utilizing this very important service. Note a few of these misconceptions and then discuss this option with your doctor or a physiotherapist if you need more information about their services.
Physiotherapy is only for after an accident or surgery
As mentioned above, physiotherapy is often prescribed after someone has been in an accident or gone through surgery, but this is not the only time these services can be needed. Someone suffering from arthritis may be benefited by the manipulation and other procedures used on their joints during a physiotherapy session. Someone who has back problems because of obesity, poor posture, and the like can also benefit. There are also a number of other conditions that cause swelling, pain, balance issues, and other problems that can be addressed by physical therapy.
Along with this myth, many people assume that you need a referral to see a physical therapist. There are usually many physiotherapy centers that take people without a referral; they may need to go over your entire health history with you, but they can work with someone who simply has minor issues that they cannot manage on their own and who don't have a referral from a physician.
Physiotherapy is painful
There may be some discomfort when tender joints are manipulated, but physical therapy is not like an exercise program where you're pushed to your limits and told, "No pain, no gain." In many cases, a physiotherapist will want to know if you're experiencing pain so they can monitor your healing or note if their sessions should be adjusted.
Any doctor can perform physiotherapy
A physiotherapist is specially trained in the manipulation and movement of joints and limbs, and the treatment of muscles, ligaments, tendons, and other such parts of the body. They are trained to work one-on-one with patients, usually on a mat or floor with them, and to monitor their progress. They may also be trained in massage, application of heat, and other such processes that help a patient heal or recover from their condition. While a doctor may have a basic understanding of physiotherapy, it's good to only have sessions with a trained therapist who is experienced in treating your condition with these types of treatment options.