Common Physical Therapy Myths

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by Tasha Parman, PT, Board-Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist

Have you or a loved one ever been to physical therapy? Have you heard of physical therapy? There are many myths about physical therapy in the public domain, and Natasha Parman, Executive Director of MOSAIC Physical Therapy, is here to address some of the most common myths she hears from her clients.

Tasha and Laura treating

  • “I need a referral to go to physical therapy.” In Washington state, you do not need a referral to be evaluated by a physical therapist. Some insurance companies do require a referral for payment, however, so it is recommended that you check with your insurance company beforehand.
  • “Physical therapy is painful.” As physical therapists, our goal is to help discover why you’re in pain and then provide treatment to reduce it. We sometimes have to provoke your symptoms to determine our plan of care, but we always do our best to work within your pain tolerance.
  • “Physical therapy is only for people who have had surgery.” Physical therapy is for anyone who isn’t moving as well as desired due to surgery, injury, illness, disease, or any other cause. Physical therapy is for people of all ages and all functional abilities.
  • “Physical therapy isn’t covered by my insurance.” Most insurance companies cover some amount of physical therapy. Your physical therapist’s office can help verify your benefits to determine your coverage and work within your allowed benefits.
  • “Any medical provider or trainer can provide physical therapy treatments to a client.” While some providers may advertise that they provide physical therapy (or physical rehabilitation, rehab therapy, etc), only licensed physical therapists or physical therapist assistants can provide and bill for physical therapy services.
  • “Surgery is my only option.” For many conditions, physical therapy has been shown to be as effective as or more effective than surgery. If your physical therapist thinks you are a candidate for surgery, then he or she will discuss that with you and the other members of your healthcare team.

If you have any questions about physical therapy, feel free to contact MOSAIC Physical Therapy at 425-673-5220. We would be happy to answer any of your questions.

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