Physical Therapists coming out of school today earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. DPT programs typically last 3 years. Many programs require a bachelor’s degree for admission as well as specific educational prerequisites, such as classes in anatomy, physiology, biology, chemistry, and physics.
When it comes right down to it, we (Physical therapists) are movement experts who help people reduce pain, improve or restore mobility, and stay active throughout life. But there are some common misconceptions that often discourage people from calling Gina V. or other physical therapists for treatment.
Every few months we think it’s important to debunk the most common myths about physical therapy. As always, please give us a call at the Gina V. clinic!
1. Myth: I need a referral to see a physical therapist.
Fact: A recent survey by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) revealed that over 70% of people think a referral or prescription is required for evaluation by a physical therapist. However, a physician’s referral is not required in order to be evaluated by a physical therapist. Gina and her team will work closely with your primary care physician or specialists.
2. Myth: Physical therapy is painful.
Fact: Our Physical therapists seek to minimize your pain and discomfort—including chronic or long-term pain. We work within your pain threshold to help you heal, and restore movement and function. The survey found that although 71% of people who have never visited a physical therapist think physical therapy is painful, that number significantly decreases among patients who have seen a physical therapist in the past year. Gina doesn’t bite so don’t be afraid to come in and get checked out. You might actually enjoy it!
3. Myth: Physical therapy is only for injuries and accidents.
Fact: Physical therapists do a lot more than just stretch or strengthen weak muscles after an injury or surgery. We are skilled at evaluating and diagnosing potential problems before they lead to more serious injuries or disabling conditions—from carpal tunnel syndrome and frozen shoulder, to chronic headaches and lower back pain, to name a few. Our goal is to get you back to doing the things you love to do!
4. Myth: Any health care professional can perform physical therapy.
Fact: Although 42% of consumers know that physical therapy can only be performed by a licensed physical therapist, 37% still believe other health care professionals can also administer physical therapy. Whether you call Gina V. or another physical therapy clinic in the Papillion area, please make sure you are receiving therapy care from a licensed physical therapist.
5. Myth: Physical therapy isn’t covered by insurance.
Fact: Gina V. accepts most insurance policies. And, most insurance policies cover some form of physical therapy. Beyond insurance coverage, physical therapy has proven to reduce costs by helping people avoid unnecessary imaging scans, surgery, or prescription drugs. Physical therapy can also lower costs by helping patients avoid falls or by addressing conditions before they become chronic. If you don’t have insurance, we can arrange a cash payment option.
6. Myth: Surgery is my only option.
Fact: In many cases, physical therapy has been shown to be as effective as surgery in treating a wide range of conditions—from rotator cuff tears and degenerative disk disease, to meniscal tears and some forms of knee osteoarthritis. Those who have recently seen a physical therapist know this to be true, with 79% believing physical therapy can provide an alternative to surgery. Surgery isn’t the only option!
7. Myth: I can do physical therapy myself.
Fact: Gina wants your participation because it is key to a successful treatment plan, but every patient still needs the expert care and guidance of a licensed physical therapist like Gina and her team members. Gina will leverage her specialized education, clinical expertise, and the latest available evidence to evaluate your needs and make a diagnosis before creating an individualized plan of care.
Bottom line….if you are living with a nagging injury or haven’t fully recovered from a surgery, please call Gina V. Physical Therapy in Papillion.