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Agape Physical Therapy

9 Things you may not know about physical therapy

1. Physical therapists hold advanced degrees.

There is a surprising number of patients who are surprised when they find out that physical therapists hold a Doctorate degree, or even go to graduate school, to become a physical therapist. Many years ago, you could practice physical therapy with a bachelor’s degree. However, our scope of practice and knowledge of medicine has grown tremendously in the last few decades that most graduate programs offer an entry-level 3-year Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. Physical therapists have to pass a medical board exam in order to obtain their license to treat patients.

2. You can be evaluated and treated by a physical therapist without seeing your doctor first.

This is called Direct Access and more states are leaning towards this practice since the profession of physical therapy is growing so rapidly with the requirement of an advanced degree.

3. Physical therapists alone cannot diminish your symptoms.

When treating patients, it would be great to have a magic wand to wave over an ailing body part. Unfortunately, we cannot perform magic. Physical therapy is successful when the patient and the therapist work together on creating a treatment plan in order to meet the patient’s goals.

4. “No Pain, No Gain” does not always hold true.

There are a few diagnoses where this saying holds true, such as when working on range of motion after a knee replacement or if you have a frozen shoulder. Most of the time, treatments and exercises should be relatively pain-free. If being treated for low back pain or an overuse injury in a tendon, you want to stay away from certain movements or positions that may aggravate the condition.

5. It is so important to do your home-exercise program!

There is a reason that your physical therapist puts in the time and effort of designing a home program specifically for you. If you don’t follow their recommendation during therapy or after you are discharged, you will get to know your therapist very well because you will be seeing them again and again for the same problem.

6. Physical Therapy isn't just for post-surgery patients

People often do not know that physical therapy can fix stuff like migraines, chronic back pain, and nagging injuries.  Physical therapists are trained to work on backs, knees, necks, ankles, elbows, shoulders…your body from head to toe.  Pain medications and surgery aren't the only options to reduce pain and suffering.  Physical therapy has been shown time and time again to be the less expensive, and optimal resource to return you back to the life you desire!

7. Physical therapy can help you regain your balance.

If you or a loved one is noticing a decrease in balance, Agape Physical Therapy should be your first stop. We can work on the general strengthening of your core and lower extremities and work on retraining the various systems that contribute to balance. This is one of the most common things we treat and is not something that you have to live with. It is not a “normal” part of aging and is something that can always be improved especially if you begin working on it at the first signs of decrease.

8. There are many different types of therapy that a physical therapist can do.

Physical therapy is a very broad field and includes a wide range of therapies, such as orthopedic, postoperative care, cardiovascular, neurologic rehabilitation, and pulmonary rehab.

9. Physical therapists can treat vertigo.

Many people suffer from positional vertigo, which can wreak havoc on your overall quality of life. Because this ailment is a dysfunction of the vestibular system in the inner ear, it can actually be successfully treated in as little as one sitting with a physical therapist.