There are a lot of myths out there about physiotherapy. While some of them might give us a chuckle, others might be putting people off from getting vital treatment that will enable them to live fuller lives. So, we wanted to set the record straight and let you know what physiotherapy is really all about.
Myth: Physiotherapy is only for sporty types
Some people think that physiotherapists are for athletes or people who are seriously into their sports and fitness. This isn’t true at all.
Fact: We can help people who play sports or exercise regularly, whatever their level, either to recover from an injury or to stay on top of their game. But we also see patients who aren’t sporty at all. In fact, the majority of our patients aren't athletes! Anyone who has muscles, joints and tissues can benefit from physiotherapy - and that’s, well, everyone!
Myth: Physiotherapy is for specific injuries
We’ve heard people say that they don’t think they should see a physiotherapist because they don’t have a specific injury that they’re aware of, they just have pain or discomfort that has been gradually building, but they think the lack of any big event that started it means they’ll be wasting our time. That isn’t the case.
Fact: If your pain is still there after two weeks, it probably isn’t going to go away by itself. You don’t have to have experienced a specific injury to need physiotherapy - general wear and tear over time, or more subtle issues that build up without you noticing can cause damage that needs to be treated. Ignoring it can often mean it just gets worse and could lead to more serious problems down the line.
Furthermore, your pain could be caused by lifestyle factors or issues with your activity technique. A physiotherapist can help you identify changes or tools that can help you avoid aggravating or repeating any issues.
Myth: Physiotherapy hurts
A lot of people put off or avoid seeing a physiotherapist because they’re worried the treatment will be painful. We’re not going to lie, there might be some discomfort, especially if you’ve got a serious issue that needs to be dealt with. But in the long run, leaving your problem untreated is likely to be a lot more painful!
Fact: Many people say physiotherapy treatment was a more comfortable experience than they expected. We try to make your appointment as pain-free as possible, and we will increase your activity levels when your body is ready. Plus, if treatment means saying goodbye to your current issue and associated pain, then any short-lived discomfort during your treatment will seem totally worth it.
Myth: Physiotherapy is just exercises
Your physiotherapy treatment is likely to involve some form of exercise to help with strength, flexibility, and mobility. But that’s only part of what we do.
Fact: Physiotherapy involves a wide range of techniques, including manual (hands-on) therapy, massage, activity modification, lifestyle advice, training plans and, yes, exercise. What form and combination of treatments we recommend for you will depend on your particular issue and individual requirements.
Myth: Physiotherapy means getting undressed
A lot of people are nervous about coming to see a physiotherapist because they think they’ll have to take their clothes off. Don’t worry, we always take into account your privacy and ask about any personal boundaries you may have.
Fact: To determine the best way to treat you, we will almost certainly need to examine the affected area. So, if that is somewhere normally hidden by your clothes, then you may need to remove some items. However, you can make this a lot easier by wearing clothing that naturally exposes that area or is easy to pull aside. We recommend wearing loose-fitting clothes to an appointment anyway because that will make it easier for you to do any exercises or stretches. If the area is impossible to look at without removing some clothes, then we can always cover you with towels if you feel more comfortable. If you’re worried about having to undress at an appointment, just let us know, and we can discuss it and find an appropriate solution to keep you feeling comfortable.
Don’t let myths and misconceptions prevent you from getting the treatment you need. If you have any questions or concerns about physiotherapy, just give us a call at 416.490.0449 or email email@example.com so we can give you the facts. Our team of physiotherapists at Leslie and Sheppard in North York are also available to do a free 10-minute phone or video consultation to see if we can help.