Common Physiotherapy Myths
Physiotherapy Matters are established specialists in combating the musculoskeletal injuries, illnesses and pains suffered by clients throughout the North East. Our treatments target arthritis to sports injuries and headaches to back pain.
Many people don’t realise that physiotherapy is the answer they are looking for to combat their pain, so in an effort to overcome the common misconceptions, Managing Director and Senior Physiotherapist, Neeraj Nayyar tackles the most frequently heard myths relating to physiotherapy:
1. “I have to be referred by my GP in order to have physiotherapy”
Clients can self-refer to a physiotherapist and do not need to see their GP first. Your first appointment will include a full initial assessment to diagnose the problems that you are experiencing. You can also be referred by an intermediary company, insurance company or solicitor following an accident.
2. “It’s a shame that physiotherapy isn’t covered by my private health insurance”
Physiotherapy services are covered by most private health insurance policies, whether this is a personal policy or a policy through work. If you have private health insurance we advise you to check the terms and conditions of your policy before booking an appointment in order to be able to claim back treatment costs effectively. Physiotherapy Matters is registered with all major insurance companies such as AXA PPP, Bupa, Cigna, Simply Health, Aviva etc.
3. “Physiotherapy is painful”
Physiotherapists will occasionally employ some deep pressure or heavy mobility to assist in your treatment though by and large this is not the most common approach for physiotherapy. Physiotherapists will aim to help overcome your injury, illness or disability through movement and exercise, manual therapy, education and advice. Treatment certainly doesn’t have to hurt and you should discuss any concerns relating to this with your physiotherapist.
4. “Physiotherapy is only for people who play sports”
Physiotherapy is an effective treatment for a whole range of illnesses, injuries and disabilities. It can help virtually any condition that affects your muscles, joints or nerves. Although people playing sports can find physiotherapy very useful, the treatments are targeted towards anyone suffering from:
- Low back pain
- Symptoms of pregnancy such as back pain
- Neck pain
- Postural issues
5. “A sports massage is only for athletes”
Sports massage is one form of physiotherapy treatment and you certainly don’t have to be an athlete to benefit from a sports massage. Sports massage is also good for people with injuries, chronic pain or restricted range of motion. The massage therapist generally concentrates on a specific problem area rather than the full body and employs this type of Swedish massage to stimulate circulation of blood and lymph fluids. Overall this massage is aimed at anyone who wants to alleviate pain due to injury and return their body to health.
6. “The best treatment for back pain is simply to rest”
With back problems it is really important to stay mobile and active. A physiotherapist can advise you on light exercises to keep active and therefore mobilise the muscles in your back that keep you upright and promote better form and posture. Simply resting is the opposite of what you should aim to do if suffering from back pain and a physiotherapist can help to design the right programme for you.
7. “I will need to keep going back for a long period of time, or even forever!”
Physiotherapists aim to ‘fix’ your problem rather than temporarily make it feel better. We work towards achieving long-term results. Where your condition is chronic and cannot be ‘fixed’ physiotherapists advise on how to self-manage your symptoms. The number of treatment sessions it is expected you will need will be discussed fully at your initial consultation and generally we aim to discharge clients within 4-6 30 minute treatment sessions. There are some conditions that will require much more than this, in these cases the Physiotherapist will explain and outline their treatment plan for you and encourage you towards each progressive milestone of improvement within the goal of full recovery. You will be given exercises to complete at home in order to speed up your treatment as much as possible.