‘Isn’t Physiotherapy just massage?’  If we had a Naira for every time we’ve heard that statement, we’d be millionaires.

Misconceptions about Physiotherapy can stop people from seeking out the help they might need from a qualified professional. We have put together a few common ones that we often come across in clinics. But before we get to debunking some of these myths, let’s talk about the definition of Physiotherapy.

Physiotherapy is an evidence-based profession that promotes recovery from injury, illness, or disabilities, through the use of one of humanity’s primal instincts. MOVEMENT! If you have an injury or an issue that affects how you function daily, you should consider seeing a Physiotherapist.

So what misconceptions do people generally have of Physiotherapy?

Myth #1: Physiotherapy is the same as massage

This statement is only true if 1 + 1 = 5. Physiotherapy treatments may involve techniques, such as massage, but it’s not the sole treatment we have in our toolboxes. Physiotherapy consists of a combination of different treatments such as joint mobilizations, exercises, stretch therapy, hydrotherapy, electrotherapy, and much more.

Depending on your symptoms, physiotherapists can work with you. to come up with the best combination, to meet your specific needs.

Myth #2: Physiotherapy is just exercise. I can do it on my own.

The Internet and Dr Google are amazing at providing resources that either put your mind at ease or compound your worries about your symptoms. However, without professional help, you may find contradictory advice for symptoms similar to what you are struggling with. In a bid to fix the problem alone, you may worsen your symptoms.

Physiotherapy is a regulated health care profession and only licensed physiotherapists can provide physiotherapy care. Yes, exercise is an important aspect of rehabilitation, but again, it is one of many treatment options that Physios can use, based on your condition and goals.

Having a tailored treatment plan is one of the benefits of seeing a physiotherapist. Look at it this way, “If my car was faulty, would I fix it myself or go to a mechanic for a check-up? You already know the answer.

Myth #3: Physiotherapy is just for sports!

There is definitely more than meets the eye when it comes to the various specialties of Physiotherapy.  Whilst sports therapy can be highly publicized, you’ll be happy to know that Physiotherapists can work in various health care settings. For example, hospitals, private clinics, and community settings. They can also specialize in mental health, critical care, trauma, and pediatrics, to name a few.

 Myth #4: Physiotherapy is only for young people.

Physiotherapy serves all age populations. As long as you’ve got a body, it doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, Physiotherapy can be beneficial for you. In fact, physiotherapy has been proven very beneficial for older people with longstanding conditions. It can help to prevent loss of function and improve mobility, (two things which decline as we age).

Myth #5: I don’t need physiotherapy, I’m going to get surgery anyways.

Physiotherapy is the first line of defense for conservative care to prevent the need for certain invasive surgeries. Research has shown that participating in Physiotherapy prior to surgery can improve postoperative outcomes and reduce recovery times.

Pre-hab, (as we like to call it), helps to improve strength and promote pain relief before surgery. So in cases where surgery is required,  it may be recommended by your doctor to strengthen. This can improve the success rate of your surgery and prepare you for the procedure.

Myth #6: You need a doctor’s referral to get physiotherapy.

You can see a physiotherapist without a doctor’s referral. Though there may be circumstances where a doctor may refer you to physiotherapy. For instance, after an event such as a heart attack, a stroke, or after a surgery.

We’re sure there are many more myths about Physiotherapy. Now you’ve seen our top 6, which ones were you harboring prior to reading this?

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