Common Myths About Physiotherapy Debunked  

Many people could benefit from the services of our Ottawa physiotherapists, but they may not realize it. There are many misconceptions about physiotherapy, what it does, and simply what it is.

Here’s a look at the common myths—and the truth of the matter.

Physiotherapy hurts!

One of the most common misconceptions about physiotherapists and the treatments they offer is that they actually cause pain. As a matter of fact, one of the main goals of physiotherapy is to reduce pain and any discomfort. Physiotherapy treatment helps the body heal and restore mobility and range of motion after injuries, surgery, and often, simple wear and tear over time. If your condition is already painful, physiotherapy treatment will help you minimize and manage it so that you can get back to your normal as soon as possible.

It's the same thing as as chiropractor or massage therapist

At our Ottawa sports medicine clinics, we can offer all three options—but they are definitely different disciplines. The musculoskeletal specialist who can best serve your needs will depend on the nature of your condition, and in some cases, it’s a combination of two or all three. A chiropractor focuses on the spine, including mobility issues as well as neurological function. Massage therapy focuses on the soft tissues. A physiotherapist will consider the whole body, including function and body mechanics, and particularly the joints. They can treat issues such as muscle weakness and imbalances, and treatments most often involve targeted exercises.

I can do it at home!

While it’s true that targeted exercises are a cornerstone of physiotherapy treatments, it’s not a simple matter of choosing the right workout regimen. Your physiotherapist will first take the time to properly diagnose the underlying cause of the condition that caused you to seek treatment, and also take your general health and physical conditioning into account. The exercises they prescribe will be specifically targeted at your situation, and include a hands-on component by your practitioner to assist the process. You won’t find the instructions online, in other words.

It’s only for athletes—I have a desk job

Many people outside the world of professional and/or elite level athletics assume that physiotherapy services are not for them. But, physiotherapists can help anyone with issues that involve the musculoskeletal system, including helping to foresee problems that might be developing in the future. Because they work with the body’s mechanics, they can help their clients with many common issues, including back aches, headaches—even shoulder pain from sitting at a computer.

When something hurts—that’s when you see a physiotherapist

Reducing and even eliminating pain and discomfort is one of the primary goals of physiotherapy, but it’s not the only one. You certainly don’t have to wait until something hurts before you make an appointment. Physiotherapy can help you regain and/or improve your range of motion, and help you stay mobile as you get older. It can help you prepare for surgery by strengthening key muscle groups, and prevent injuries with good advice.

Physio is only for injuries like a sprained ankle

Helping their clients heal from injuries to the musculoskeletal system is one of the main functions of any physiotherapy practice. But, physiotherapists can also help their clients heal, restore movement and mobility, and in general help them to help their own bodies to perform better—and that can apply to many different situations. They can help their clients heal after surgery, as well as manage many conditions caused by wear and tear over time such as arthritis, muscle weaknesses and imbalance, postural problems, and bursitis, among many others.

If you are experiencing any issues that involve mobility or your musculoskeletal system, or have any questions about physiotherapy services, don’t hesitate to contact one of our Ottawa clinics for a consultation today.


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