Common Myths About Physiotherapy Explained

Myth vs Fact

Myth 1: Patients need a referral to see a physiotherapist.

  • Although many people believe that they require a referral to see a physiotherapist, this is not actually true. A physiotherapist is trained to determine whether their patients require medical attention or physiotherapy treatment alone. Physiotherapists can examine, assess, and diagnose various health conditions/injuries and provide their patients with an individualized treatment plan. Therefore, patients DO NOT need to get a referral to see a physiotherapist.

Myth 2: Physiotherapy is a one size fits all approach.

  • There are aspects of physiotherapy that can be used for most cases, but there is never a set treatment protocol to follow for each patient. Physiotherapists are there to help assist their patients recover from injury, get back to sport or work or improve their overall function. This may consist of several treatment modalities, exercises, and advice.
  • Yes, there may be exercises that are given to patients with similar conditions, but these exercises are always given as they are the best for the presenting patient and their goals and lifestyle. Physiotherapists are always learning and keeping up to date with the most recent research to integrate into their treatment sessions to ensure you are receiving the best possible care.

Myth 3: Physiotherapy is expensive and time consuming.

  • Physiotherapy can be an expensive investment, but isn’t your health a priority? Depending on what injury you have, can depend on how many sessions you will require to get better. This also depends on what goals you want to achieve. Seeking physiotherapy input for your injury may help you avoid costly and risky procedures such as surgeries, injections, medications and reduce the need for healthcare services in the long-term.

Myth 4: Physiotherapy is just for sports people or the elderly.

  • It is often thought that physiotherapists only treat sports people or athletes and the elderly population. This is 100% incorrect. Physiotherapy can be used to treat a diverse group of people suffering from various illnesses like neurological conditions, pediatric conditions, geriatric conditions, and musculoskeletal conditions.
  • Although physiotherapy can benefit the elderly and people with chronic diseases, it is not only beneficial for them. Physiotherapy can be provided for acute injuries, post-operative rehabilitation, sports related problems and as a preventative measure to reduce the likelihood of developing injuries in the first place. Physiotherapy can also enhance your athletic performance, improve your posture, and boost your mental health and well-being.

Myth 5: Physiotherapists only give massages and exercises.

  • Although massage and exercise prescription are part of what physiotherapists offer and are commonly used, it does not end there. Physiotherapists offer a wide variety of treatment modalities such as electrotherapy (TENS, ultrasound), manual therapy such as joint mobilisations and trigger point release, taping, dry needling, education, and advice.