The Art of Recovery
National Physical Therapy Day in September and National Physical Therapy Month, hosted by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) in October are important entries on our calendar as a time to recognise the contribution that Physical Therapists bring to everyday lives around the world. But what are the myths that surround this caring and healing profession? Here’s a quick peek at some of these misconceptions:
4 Myths about Physical Therapists
- Physical Therapists only prescribe exercises –
Physical therapists are able to carry out a variety of hands on treatments but will often prescribe exercises to be carried out at home to enable patients to continued efficacy of their treatments in-clinic.
- No Pain, No Gain –
Physical Therapy is not intended to be painful. Your therapist is trained to diagnose by using a variety of tests. They will be able to measure muscle strength, range of motion and motor function. Listen to your therapist and benefit from their medical knowledge. They have no interest in making you suffer from additional pain and are a cost-saving and effective form of health care.
- Physical Therapy is only for sporty people –
You don’t have to be an elite athlete to benefit from Physical Therapy. We all have times in our lives where we need extra care and support and whether you have post surgical requirements, lower back pain, postural guidance, movement issues or injuries, your Physical Therapist can recommend a variety of treatments that will help you regardless of your age or physical fitness levels.
- Physical Therapists don’t like Chiropractors –
We don’t know where this myth originated but it is a fairly commonplace thought that these two professions are in competition with one another. However, Chiropractors and Physical Therapists have a variety of skills and techniques that can work well together and both want to see you recover as fully, and as quickly, as possible.
What other misconceptions have you encountered during Physical Therapy treatment/practice?
What’s the Outlook for Physical Therapists:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for physical therapy services is due to increase by a staggering 36% by 2022. Our ageing population is staying much more active in later life and with this brings the need for increased access to physical therapy. We also have an increase in the numbers of obese people who need extra help with mobility issues, diabetes and other chronic health problems.
An ageing population needs more care. As we continue to live to a greater age than our grandparents, our likelihood of surviving heart attacks and stroke, but requiring rehabilitation, also continues to grow. It is thought that there will be an increasing need for physical therapists within acute-care hospitals, skilled-nursing facilities and orthopaedic settings.
To service these increased needs the total number of licensed physical therapists is projected to rise from about 176,000 to between 203,000 and 232,000 by 2020.
Physical therapists are often quoted as being the most satisfied with their jobs. According to the 2012 National Physical Therapist Survey, having a good reputation is more important to them than more money, brand or location.
Are you expanding your Physical Therapy clinic to cope with demand?