Physical therapists are professionals that have a deep understanding of how your body moves. They are trained to diagnose and treat movement disorders or injuries that often lead to pain, restricted mobility or disability.
Although physical therapists can offer a lot to ease the pain, there are many misconceptions that prevent people from consulting their therapists. Let’s see some of the misconceptions about pain and the role of physical therapists in managing it.
1. The pain is not bad enough to see a physical therapist
This is perhaps one of the most common misconceptions regarding pain and physical therapy. Many people believe that if they have a minor pain that can be taken care of using a painkiller, there is no need to bother.
As a matter of fact, pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. If you have pain, that means that there is a problem with the mechanics of your body. Rest and painkillers may help you alleviate the symptoms for some time, but the root cause remains unaddressed. If the underlying cause is not properly understood, the pain can worsen and even lead to a permanent damage.
Remember, prevention is always better than cure. If your body is trying to tell you something, don’t ignore it. Consult with a physical therapist, it may not only help you in your pain but may prevent further damage as well. Don’t play the ‘wait and watch’ game, visit your physical therapist at the earliest.
2. The pain is too much to have physical therapy
This is the other side of the spectrum. Many patients simply avoid physical therapy because they think that the pain is too much to do any exercise. However, if you have too much pain that limits your activity level, resting too much can worsen it.
It is an established fact that a total lack of activity due to pain can worsen the underlying cause that can lead to a more permanent damage. If you are experiencing too much pain that keeps you bound to your bed, it is the time to see your physical therapist.
Consulting with the therapist, you will better understand the underlying cause of your pain. The exercise program can help you get back to your regular active self.
3. How can I start physical therapy; I don’t even have my x-ray?
This is yet another misconception that many people have. Although an X-ray is a great tool to diagnose bone fractures and other abnormalities, they are not a prerequisite for physical therapy. As a matter of fact, physical therapists are very well trained to diagnose many movement related issues. Many times, waiting for an X-ray to see a therapist can worsen the injury or damage.
Therapists are trained to assess the damage and if they feel that you need medical attention, they will refer you a doctor. However, if you see your physical therapist early, you will be in a better position to speed up the recovery.
4. There is no need for a PT, I can do the exercises at home
Yet another very common misconception. People think that physical therapy is just a bunch of exercises that they can probably do at home. However, truth can’t be further from this.
It is not merely enough to do the exercises. It is vital that the exercises are done properly, at the right time and with the right control, especially early on. The physical therapists are trained to observe and treat the underlying cause of pain. It takes years of practice and a detailed knowledge of the body to identify and treat the root cause of pain.
Physical therapists can not only help you merely do the exercises but also help you to prepare and recover as well. Physical therapy deserves a chance to help you with your pain. With the proper therapy, you will be back enjoying your life to the fullest in no time!