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  • '7 Myths About Physical Therapy' Released – Now It's Debunking Time

    Q: Which of the following statements is true?

    "Physical therapy is painful."

    "Physical therapy is only for injuries and accidents."

    "Any health professional can perform physical therapy."

    A: None of them. In fact, they're among the "7 Myths About Physical Therapy" that need to be debunked.

    During National Physical Therapy Month (NPTM), APTA and its members will be engaging in a public education campaign to counter those myths with a good dose of reality. Joining the myths mentioned above are common misconceptions about referrals, insurance coverage, the need for surgery in all cases, and self-administered physical therapy.

    This campaign is supported by a national online advertising effort that will reach out to baby boomers, women over 50, people recovering from injury, those with a healthy and active lifestyle, and those experiencing joint and muscle pain. Ads will run on various websites, including Health.com, and will link to www.MoveForwardPT.com/NPTM, where visitors can find more information and a physical therapist in their area.

    Go to www.apta.org/NPTM for tools to help you plan and promote this campaign during your NPTM events. Available resources include web ads as well as a “myths" infographic, factsheet, and article. You’ll also find tips on how you can use these resources.

    When myths grow, care suffers. Take this opportunity to educate consumers by challenging fallacy with fact. Show them what you really do, and how physical therapy changes individual lives and transforms society.


    • Yes, in most places you don't need a referral to see a PT. But, the reality is that if you want your insurance to cover it, you do.

      Posted by Renee Cordrey on 10/6/2014 8:24 PM

    • yes you do need a referral if you want your insurance to cover and there has to be justification

      Posted by lenora on 10/7/2014 3:05 PM

    • If we believe that only PTs can perform PT; which unfortunately is not legally and universally true; then why do we not believe that only PTs can own a PT practice? By our own inaction on this issue, we have embraced the notion that non-PTs can own and be paid for our services, even if they cannot perform them. Again, we are our own worst enemy.

      Posted by Ken Mailly on 10/10/2014 4:55 PM

    • Some insurances are allowing and paying for PT without a referral (in NY), but not all.

      Posted by Kevin on 10/10/2014 5:12 PM

    • Thank you!, I am tired of PTs perpetuating this myth. Usually it is used to get patients in the door needed or not

      Posted by Max Morton PhD, LPT on 10/10/2014 5:28 PM

    • Just because physical therapy isn't covered by insurance at times, doesn't mean that a client doesn't need physical therapy. Cash based practices of physical therapy are a viable alternative to the traditional insurance based practices. My cash based practice offers provide client- based service with a consistent provider(proven to improve outcomes), frequency determined by therapist and patient vs insurance comapany, duration determined by therapist and client vs insurance company, convenience and lower cost to client

      Posted by Rita Newton PT MS on 10/10/2014 9:00 PM

    • We have been spending a fortune for at least 30 years trying to reduce POPTs situations and it has not changed a thing!!! We need to spend the money, energy, and efforts to educate the public on WHY they should see a PT, WHAT a PT does, and WHO we are as a profession, and then we have to LIVE UP TO IT!!! Where we work is immaterial--HOW we work is more of a testimony! Hospitals reduce PT's professionalism and autonomy WAY more than most physician practices do AND they are in it ALL for profit!!! Who isn't in it for profit anyway? PTs don't work for free!! Where I live, there are PTs running MILLS--scheduling patients every 10 minutes!!! The only way to get more business, better public understanding and more success is through public education of what PTs can provide and then do a stellar job of it!!!

      Posted by Beth Scott, PT, DPT, GCFP on 10/12/2014 9:56 PM

    • I am an owner of a private practice in Wisconsin and 50%+ of my practice is Direct Access and only need a referral for Medicare/Medicaid. My payer mix is 45% commercial insurance, 15% Medicare, 10% Worker Comp and 25% cash. My cash consists of patients who have high deductibles, out of network or for Dry Needling. Free enterprise if alive and well, but ObamaCare is infringing on it.

      Posted by David Tranchita, MA,PT,OCS,CMTPT,CSCS on 10/13/2014 2:15 PM

    • one need be aware!

      Posted by Dhiraj on 4/5/2015 4:14 AM

    • It's good to see that people are trying to debunk myths about physical therapy. I'm not a baby boomer by any means, but I've gone through a lot of PT in my life, and I've always found it to be beneficial. Sometimes it wasn't easy, but I'd never say it was really that painful. If people need physical therapy, they should actively pursue it for their own benefit.

      Posted by Jane Fox on 6/25/2015 1:27 PM

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