Path to PT: Overcoming The Misconceptions About Physical Therapy

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. 

Learn more about our vari­ety of ther­a­pies. To sched­ule an appoint­ment with a phys­i­cal ther­a­pist, call 630−967−2000 or request an appoint­ment online..

Health Topics:

  • I believe a strong professional relationship between the provider and patient is an essential part of the rehabilitation process.