Pop Quiz! Did You Have These Common Misconceptions About Physical Therapy?

Many people have misconceptions about physical therapy, and that’s okay – until it’s important that you receive PT and then it’s necessary for you to know the basics. For you, maybe that time is now and you’ve been putting off making an appointment because you’re not sure how it works. We give you the basics of how physical therapy does (and doesn’t) work, so you won’t waste time in getting the care you need.

Misconception: My doctor controls the physical therapist I see. If I’ve had surgery, I’m stuck going to the facility or hospital where it was performed.

Reality: You are fully empowered to seek the physical therapist of your choice. While you’ll still need to verify your insurance coverage, the physical therapist’s office is very well-versed in dealing with insurance companies and can tell you if they accept your insurance plan. It’s almost always less expensive for you to seek a privately-owned physical therapy practice vs attending follow-up PT at a hospital.

Misconception: My doctor will diagnose my issue and tell the physical therapist what I need to work on.

Reality: A doctor is often a good starting point, but your physical therapist is often a doctor as well, and very highly educated and accredited. Your PT is specialized and trained in assessing as well as designing recovery plans for your specific issue. While you may receive an initial referral from a doctor, your PT comes up with the tailored exercises and rehab plan unique to your needs.

Misconception: I should always start with my doctor because a physical therapist can’t diagnose me.

Reality: A physical therapist can assess many different issues and problems of the entire musculoskeletal system. If s/he feels additional testing and/or imaging is warranted, then s/he will recommend you see your family or orthopedic doctor at that point. A physical therapist is an excellent resource, and this includes diagnosing and treating injuries and issues of your musculoskeletal system.

Misconception: I have to wait for a referral from my doctor to see a physical therapist.

Reality: You have direct access to visit a physical therapist by making an appointment, the same way you’d see your doctor. While there are some limitations as to the number of visits you can have without a referral, your PT’s office will typically work with you and your doctor to continue your care. You can always ask your PT how they handle referrals in their practice and check with your specific insurance plan. Bottom line, you do have direct access to a physical therapist.

Have more questions about how physical therapy works or how it could help improve your life? Call us today and one of our team members would be glad to help. Body One Physical Therapy is locally-owned with four convenient locations serving central Indiana: North Indianapolis, Fishers, and Zionsville. Our providers are highly-trained and caring and enjoy helping clients of all ages and activity levels. If you’ve put off physical therapy because of your misconceptions, don’t wait – let this be the first step in your journey to better health and wellness!