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Challenging six misconceptions about Physiotherapy

Ignorance is bliss? Try saying that to someone in pain or recovering from an injury!  

When it comes to your body and health, information is power. Specifically, truth and facts can empower you to take charge of your health.  

Misconceptions can be likened to pesky parasites that invade your mind and stop you from taking that first step, I.e. booking a physio appointment, especially when you need it most.  

Let’s correct them, shall we? 

A Physiotherapist can be substituted by massage therapists or chiropractors

  • All 3 professions, although seemingly similar, in that they all deal with the musculoskeletal system, are varied in their foundational practices.
  • Physiotherapy is the art of assessing and analyzing the human body and then formulating a treatment plan accordingly. Physiotherapists are key members of pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation teams in different departments such as Cardio-thoracic, neurological and Orthopedic specialties.
  • With a strong foundation in the sciences, physiotherapists are experts in assessing movement and functionality. 
  • If a proverbial door stands in the way of pain-free movement, assessment is the key and the treatment is the lock. Without the right key, you will never open the door.
  • Without a detailed assessment, it is impossible to formulate the correct and most efficient treatment plan. This is what sets us apart from other healthcare professions.
  • In addition, physiotherapists provide you with an individualized exercise regime focused on maintenance and/or strengthening.

A doctor’s referral is required

  • Physiotherapists are autonomous healthcare professionals who use evidence-based strategies in the assessment and treatment of their clients. Owing to the absence of drug prescriptions and surgical intervention, it is entirely safe to see a physiotherapist without a doctor’s note.
  • However, a doctor’s recommendation is the most common reason for clients seeking physiotherapy services. Changing public perception is one of the <reasons we founded Revere Physiotherapy.
  • Chances are you have not been made aware of the advantages of preventive physiotherapy, which is a segue for the next misconception.

Physiotherapists only treat patients with pain or in need of rehabilitation

  • While the awareness of physiotherapy in rehabilitation is quite strong, the full scope of physiotherapy is not entirely known to the general public (hence this post).
  • Whether you’re a weekend warrior dreaming of being an ace or a weight enthusiast trying to perfect your form, a visit to your physiotherapist will only help you achieve your goals faster.
  • Preventive physiotherapy is for anyone, anywhere on the athleticism spectrum, who wants to push their physical performance to further limits in a safe and effective way.

Physiotherapists treat general health but I have a very specific problem

  • Aren’t we glad you brought this up? 
  • Much like all other medical professions, physiotherapists are perpetually learning and expanding their scope. 
  • There is a tremendous amount of continuing education courses, specific to different conditions or regions of the body, that are available to physiotherapists and it is up to the individual to continually expand their knowledge and expertise. 
  • Looking through bios or descriptions of the physiotherapist’s additional training will give you a clear picture of a good fit for your needs.

All physiotherapy education is offered in school, and therefore all physiotherapists have the same experience and skills 

  • Wrong again. Education to become a physiotherapist is fairly standard for the general student. In most Canadian schools, it requires a Bachelor’s degree and a ~2-year Master’s degree in Physical Therapy.
  • There are some Canadian schools and some international schools which have a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy as well. There is no preference between either of these routes and any graduate of these programs is more than qualified to practice physiotherapy
  • Through our master’s program, we learn how to analyze and diagnose conditions, formulate treatment plans to solve those diagnoses, and even screening potential red flags (in which we would refer you to your doctor).



However, more specific skills are acquired through additional certifications which require a financial investment. At Revere, our team spends more than $5000 annually to equip themselves with the latest techniques obtained from ongoing research. 

If my back hurts it’s probably injured

  • This one is all too common and not entirely accurate. While it’s possible that the pain could stem directly from the source of injury, it’s important to remember that the musculoskeletal system is beautifully complex and interconnected.
  • In the process of protecting one aspect of your body other parts can stiffen/loosen up. Your physiotherapist will assess joints above and below your painful stimulus to accurately diagnose the problem and ensure a thorough recovery. That should clear the most common misconceptions for you. If this post was useful for you do share it with your friends to help educate and spread awareness about physiotherapy.



If you have further questions feel free to reach out to us at info@reverephysio.com

or call us at 604-566-5108 

We offer complimentary 10-minute phone calls with our expert physiotherapists to answer all your questions. 

You could also leave your questions in the comments below and we’ll be sure to address them in subsequent posts.  

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