Top Ten Physical Therapy Facts

Top Ten Physical Therapy Facts

By / Health and Wellness / Thursday, 26 August 2021 14:40

If you’ve been to physical therapy in the past, or if you’ve heard friends and family members share their stories, you may have an idea or two about who we are and what we do. Here are some fun facts about physical therapy that might surprise you!

10. Physical therapists hold advanced graduate degrees. Some therapists who have been in the field for a while might have a masters degrees, but the majority of those practicing today hold a doctorate degree.

9. Physical therapists work in a variety of settings. We can be found in just about every area of health care including hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient clinics, schools, athletic training rooms, in-home care, research departments, and rehabilitation centers.

8. Physical therapy can be more effective than medication when it comes to managing pain. We specialize in exercises, manual techniques, and modalities that can reduce inflammation and improve function without those medication related side effects.

7. Physical therapists can treat vertigo. Dizzy spells that occur when you change positions, like sitting up or rolling over in bed, or looking side to side is known as positional vertigo. This is caused by problems with the inner ear.  As physical therapists, we are trained in evaluation and treatment techniques to reduce or clear dizziness.

6. Physical therapists can treat incontinence. Incontinence plagues both men and women. Sadly, many people learn to live with urinary incontinence despite effective exercises and treatment options available. This area of physical therapy is highly specialized, so check with your local PT clinic to find out which location provides these services.

5. Physical therapy isn’t always a “no pain, no gain” situation. Truth be told, physical therapy doesn’t always hurt, and pain doesn’t always lead to gain. For many conditions, the goal is to reduce pain with movement and allow for rest and recovery.

4. In North Carolina, you can see a physical therapist without a referral. We are what is known as a Direct Access state, meaning you can see a physical therapist without a referral from a doctor. Your insurance company may limit how many visits you can have before requiring a doctor’s order, but you can definitely get your first visit scheduled right away.

3. Not all PT clinics are the same. Many clinics still operate on a high volume model where therapists are juggling two or more patients at a time. There are a few clinics that use a one-on-one model, where patients and therapists work together for the entire treatment session. Consider which approach is right for you, and ask about the scheduling model before booking your appointment.

2. A physical therapist’s “massage” might not feel great. We use soft tissue mobilization to improve a muscle’s tone and mobility, and to release knots in the muscle known as trigger points. This is not the relaxing massage you receive at a spa.

1. Your home exercise program is key to success. Although we are highly trained and educated, we can’t do it alone. Physical therapy is physical! A few exercises in the clinic twice a week won’t get you to your goals quickly, so we need you to do your part at home. Teamwork between you and your PT will get you moving better, and living better faster!

Dr. Laurie Etherington, PT, DPT obtained her degree in 2004 from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. Carolina Beach Physical Therapy is a locally owned and independently operated small business, right here on Pleasure Island. Call us today at 910-636-3574 to schedule your appointment or visit us at to learn more about our services.










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