5 Common Physiotherapy Myths Debunked!

The origins of physiotherapy date back to 1813, when Per Henrik Ling started treating gymnasts with exercise and manipulations in Sweden. Since then, physiotherapy has come a long way, and physiotherapists are working on the cutting edge of rehabilitative therapy and medicine. However, over the last 211 years several myths have come to light that we thought would be good to resolve, so read on as we debunk the top 5 physiotherapy myths!

  1. Physiotherapists only treat athletes

While absolutely physiotherapists do treat athletes, it is untrue that this is the only type of patient we see. Everyday in our clinic we treat patients of all ages and backgrounds, from grandmothers not wanting their back or knee pain to stop them from being able to play with their grandchildren, new mothers with pelvic health issues after giving birth, to helping people who have concussion or vertigo problems. Outside of a physiotherapy clinic like ours, physiotherapists work in wide number of areas, including intensive care units, oncology wards and stroke units, as well as in pediatric hospitals, schools and professional sports teams.

Click here to learn more about what we treat in the clinic!

2. Physiotherapists are really ‘physio-terrorists’

There is a phrase that sometimes we hear in the clinic which goes ‘no pain, no gain’. While it would be untrue to say that physiotherapy can never be uncomfortable, the majority of physiotherapy treatments are soothing and help relieve your pain. If you are receiving any treatment and it is making your pain worse, it is important to mention this to your therapists, and they can adjust the technique they are doing accordingly.

3. Physiotherapy is only for when you are in pain

It is common for people to call us when they are struggling with aches and pains, and physiotherapists have a diverse set of treatment techniques to help you settle down your pain when you are flared up. However, very often the reason that you have pain in the first place is because certain parts of your body aren’t moving properly, or are weaker than they should be. These issues may not necessarily be painful to start with, but they very likely can lead to pain and disability further down the line.

With this in mind, arranging an appointment with your physiotherapist when you are feeling good can be very helpful to identify any movement disorders you have, or potential weak spots that may become problematic further down the line. Want to learn more about the physiotherapists in our team? Click here!

4. Physiotherapists only give me exercises

While exercise is a vital part of your recovery and rehabilitation, physiotherapists have a wide varying array of treatments we can use to help treat your pain. Think of it like a tool belt; exercise is just one tool we have in our treatment belts.

Depending on your issue, the physiotherapist may choose to complete treatments like IMS/ dry needling, spinal traction, graston technique or electrotherapy (such as ultrasound or IFC) as well as exercises to help resolve your issues.

5. Physiotherapists need a doctors referral before they can treat you

Physiotherapists are primary care health care providers in British Columbia. This means that a doctors referral is not needed to come and work with a physiotherapist in our clinic. So while a doctor may suggest that you need physiotherapy treatment to help resolve your problem, it is not necessary to visit one before you work with a physiotherapist.

We hope these 5 points help you clear up any myths you may have heard about physiotherapy. Do you have any questions about how a physiotherapist can help you? Email your questions to us at either or by filling in the ‘contact’ form below, or by calling us directly at 250-493-1152!

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