Common Myths About Physiotherapy

May is National Physiotherapy Month, a time of the year when we physios celebrate our profession! Woot Woot!! It’s a great time to educate people about the roles physiotherapy can play in improving health and vitality -- and in improving health care in general.

According to the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA), the heart of physiotherapy is understanding how and why movement and function take place.

"Physiotherapists are highly skilled and autonomous health professionals who provide safe, quality client-centred physiotherapy through a commitment to service availability, accessibility and excellence."

The role of physiotherapy in health care is far reaching and diverse, which sometimes creates misconceptions about what physical therapy is, and what it isn’t.  Th is diversity means there are a lot of ways that #physiocanhelp improve the health and quality of life for people in all stages in life.  Often when people think about physical therapy they think rehabilitation, which is absolutely true. At Saskatoon PhysioYoga, we see people with all kinds of pain (back, neck, shoulder, knee, ankle, jaw, pelvic…), with chronic conditions (arthritis, fibromyalgia, lupus…) and those who have been injured in a motor vehicle accident or at work (SGI, WCB), but that’s just a part of what we do.  We see people pre-surgery to enhance the surgical outcome.  We can use Medical Therapeutic Yoga to create a deeper sense of healing beyond the physical issues and challenges.  And don’t forget about our PhysioYoga classes - it’s like a small group physio session!

So of course we help those with musculoskeletal injuries or conditions, but it’s much more than that.

Here are four common misconceptions about physiotherapy:

  1. I need to be injured to see a physical therapist. Post-injury and post-surgical rehabilitation is just a sliver of what we do. It’s common for a physiotherapist to treat other common ailments like balance issues, headaches, pelvic pain, chronic pain, incontinence, and basic joint and muscle pain. We also work with clients on injury prevention and athletic enhancement.

  2. It’s going to hurt! Physiotherapists don’t subscribe to the philosophy of “no pain, no gain.” In fact, they’re specifically trained to work within your pain threshold to ensure your gains in movement and strength are safe and incremental.

  3. Surgery and/or medication are better options. Both have their place, but multiple studies have shown that physiotherapy is more effective and safer than such common options as subscription painkillers and common surgeries for lumbar spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, and even meniscus tears.

  4. It’s going to cost me. According to the CPA, health insurance providers often cover all or a portion of the cost of physiotherapy care. Some extended health insurance plans require a referral from a physician in order to get reimbursement, but it’s not always necessary. Call your health insurance provider for additional information.

Physiotherapy can improve the lives of people of all ages dealing with a number of common ailments … even people dealing with no ailments at all.  When faced with pain, THINK PHYSIO FIRST!!!

To learn more about how physiotherapy can benefit a particular ailment or condition, or for an injury, pain or movement evaluation, contact the physical therapy team at Saskatoon PhysioYoga.