Six Common Myths About Physiotherapy

By Athlete's Care on January 13, 2023

Our Toronto physiotherapists are busy helping their clients with many issues, some of them relatively little known or understood by the general public. In fact, there are many myths and misconceptions about physiotherapy treatment and what it can do for you. Here are six of the most common, along with the common sense answers.

1. You go to see a physiotherapist only when something hurts

It's true that physiotherapy offers relief from many different conditions related to the musculoskeletal system. And, it can alleviate many of those painful conditions. However, you certainly don't have to be in pain to get the most of of physiotherapy. Physiotherapy treatments can help you stay active and increase mobility, as well as provide targeted assessments and exercise plans. Physiotherapists work to help their patients optimize the way their body performs in many ways.

2. Physiotherapy treatment hurts

A physiotherapist's job is to reduce pain and discomfort, not to cause it—it's one of the major roles of physiotherapy treatment. Therapy has the goal of minimizing pain and helping you move the way your body was designed to move. After an injury or surgery, physiotherapy treatments work to help your body heal, and restore the optimal level of mobility and movement for your situation.

3. It's only for sports professionals

Many people assume that regular physiotherapy treatments are only for professional or near professional level athletes. After all, during pro sports games, the team physiotherapist is often seen on the sidelines. That's a false assumption, however. Physiotherapy can help anyone, from office workers with a sedentary lifestyle, to elite level athletes. It's about helping your body perform at its best. Physiotherapy has also proven useful for many conditions that anyone can experience, including headaches, back pain, knee and elbow pain, and much more.

4. It's just a bunch of exercises you can do at home

Knowing that physiotherapy does involve targeted exercises, some people wrongly assume that it's something they can look up on the internet and do themselves. The truth is that a skilled physiotherapist first takes the time to fully understand and diagnose the root causes of pain or discomfort—then they devise a custom-made plan that addresses your specific issues. No YouTube video can do that. In addition, your Toronto physiotherapist combines exercises and targeted movements with hands-on therapy and guidance to ensure that goals are being met, and no new damage is being caused.

5. It's only for specific injuries

Sure, you'd go to see a physiotherapist if you had a bad ankle sprain, or tore a ligament in your knee. But, it's not for everyday issues or conditions... That's an unfortunate way of thinking, because it would deprive you of the multiple benefits of physiotherapy. It's of great use in helping to heal from musculoskeletal injuries or surgery, but physiotherapy treatment can help help with pelvic health issues, concussion management, and treatment for arthritis, to name just a few.

6. Physiotherapy, massage therapy, chiropractic... it’s all the same

While all three practices fall under the umbrella of musculoskeletal therapies, there are some important differences. A thorough diagnosis by a sports medicine professional will determine which course or combination of treatment(s) is best for you. Massage therapists work with the body’s soft tissues to relieve pain and improve range of motion, among other benefits. Chiropractors are primarily concerned with the spine and its alignment, as well as the nerves connected to it. Physiotherapists are whole body specialists who work with the joints and various structures that make up the musculoskeletal system.


Is physiotherapy right for you? Our Toronto physiotherapists are available to answer your questions and concerns. Don’t hesitate to contact one of our Toronto clinics for a consultation.