When it comes to physical therapy, many believe it’s used to “fix” an injury. It can be thought of as simply seeing a physical therapist for a few weeks as part of rehab, stretching out the affected area then going back to life as normal. The reality of what physical therapy is and does goes much deeper. Here, we overcome three common misconceptions about physical therapy.
Misconception #1: Physical Therapists only need a certification to practice.
Many people are unaware it typically takes at least seven years of schooling to become a physical therapist. In fact, doctorate degrees are now required of every graduate to be able to practice physical therapy.
- 4 years for Undergraduate Degree
- 3 years for Doctor of Physical Therapy
- 1 year for advanced fellowship in a specialty area
In addition, physical therapists need to maintain their licensure, which requires completion of 40 continuing education hours every 2 years and keep up with the latest research by reading association journals and attending annual conferences.
Misconception #2: Physical therapists “fix” an injury or condition.
Physical therapy is an evidenced-based practice. That means therapists need to understand physiologically what happened during the injury or after surgery, enabling them to develop a sound approach to recovery and care.
Physical therapists don’t stop there – they look beyond a patient’s injury or condition to address factors like lifestyle, health goals and expectations, and partner with them for on their path to recovery. They look at the whole person rather than trying to solve just a piece of the puzzle.
They also collaborate with larger teams including primary care and specialty physicians and other physical therapists to provide extensive care.
Misconception #3: Physical therapy is all the same.
Physical therapy is a diverse field with a wide range of specialty focus. In addition to general and sports medicine therapy, physical therapists can become specialized in other areas of concentration such as cancer rehabilitation, neurologic therapy, pelvic health, vestibular rehabilitation therapy and more. These niche physical therapy treatments and approaches provide patients with specialized focus and exceptional expertise.
Our physical therapists are a caring, experienced and compassionate team who partner with patients to provide the care they need.