There are a lot of myths about physical therapy, particularly because many people have only ever gone to physicians or surgeons and have never seen a physical therapist. This article is here to inform you about the reality of physical therapy – and what it can do for you.
Myth 1: You need to be referred by a doctor to see a physical therapist
Depending on what state you live in, this is totally false. 22 US states allow you to see a physical therapist without seeing a doctor first, and this will often get you better quicker while usually paying less money.
Myth 2: You need to see the physical therapist you are referred to by your doctor
Completely false! It is actually illegal for a doctor to tell you that you have to see a specific physical therapist, especially when that therapist works for them. It is your right as the consumer to choose who you see. Be a smart consumer and do your research on local physical therapy clinics to find the best match for your needs.
Myth 3: You need an MRI before you can go to physical therapy
False. An MRI will cost you thousands of dollars and oftentimes won’t change your outcome at all. Even if the MRI finds a tear or other structural injury, the doctor will often send you straight to physical therapy anyway.
Myth 4: If you don’t use your insurance for healthcare, it’s going to cost a lot
False. If you don’t use your insurance and you haven’t met the deductible, it is often half the cost to if you simply pay out of pocket. If you skip the doctor and go straight to PT, you can get better from most non-acute injuries in a small number of visits and not have to pay for copays, x-rays, MRIs, and other tests.