Debunking 7 Myths About Physical Therapy has written a great article debunking PT myths. You can read the full article here. Below we have edited the list of myths from the article and made them specific to our clinic. Any additions I have made will be in italics.

1. Myth: I need a referral to see a physical therapist.

Fact: A recent survey by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) revealed 70% of people think a referral or prescription is required for evaluation by a physical therapist. However, all 50 states and the District of Columbia (DC) allow patients to be evaluated by a physical therapist without a physician's prior referral. In addition, 49 states and DC allow for some form of treatment or intervention without a physician referral or prescription (Michigan being the exception). On January 1, 2015, patients in Michigan will be able to do so, as well. Some states have restrictions about the treatment a physical therapist can provide without a physician referral. Check out APTA's direct access summary chart (.pdf) to see the restrictions in your state.

Integrate 360 PT welcomes patients with and without doctor referrals. If you come to the clinic without a referral, but have spoken to an appropriate medical provider about this issue in the past year, we will communicate our findings and treatment with that provider as well as any other physician you wish to keep up to date with your treatments. If you have not mentioned this to a provider, or if it's been over a year, we will ask that you call your physician and have a referral faxed to our clinic.

2. Myth: Physical therapy is painful.

Fact: Physical therapists seek to minimize your pain and discomfort—including chronic or long-term pain. They work within your pain threshold to help you heal, and restore movement and function. The survey found that although 71% of people who have never visited a physical therapist think physical therapy is painful, that number significantly decreases among patients who have seen a physical therapist in the past year.

Even if you've been to other physical therapy clinics and experienced "necessary", but uncomfortable treatments, we may be able to provide you with pain-free alternatives at Integrate 360. For example, many traditional therapists will treat a frozen shoulder with aggressive, and often painful stretches both at home and in the clinic. Postural Restoration works differently. We make sure that the foundation or core (ribcage, pelvis, spine) is in proper position before stretching or strengthening. More often than not, when you correct the foundational position or alignment, proper mobility is restored and aggressive stretching is not needed.

3. Myth: Physical therapy is only for injuries and accidents.

Fact: Physical therapists do a lot more than just stretch or strengthen weak muscles after an injury or surgery. They are skilled at evaluating and diagnosing potential problems before they lead to more serious injuries or disabling conditions—from carpal tunnel syndrome and frozen shoulder, to chronic headaches and lower back pain, to name a few.

At Integrate 360 PT, we also treat vertigo/vestibular problems, jaw joint dysfunction as well as women's health issues or pelvic pain. Unsure if we can help? Call us at 314-733-5000 or email us at and let us discuss it with you.

4. Myth: Any health care professional can perform physical therapy.

Fact: Although 42% of consumers know that physical therapy can only be performed by a licensed physical therapist, 37% still believe other health care professionals can also administer physical therapy. Many physical therapists also pursue board certification in specific areas such as neurology, orthopedics, sports, or women’s health, for example.

Physical therapy utilizes many different interventions to achieve results such as exercises in the clinic and at home, modalities (ultrasound and electrical stimulation), and/or manual techniques (stretching, muscle energy techniques, joint mobilizations). Although physicians or chiropractors may use some of these techniques in their offices, only physical therapists are movement experts and know how to make an exercise program as effective as possible, and personalize it to make it work for you.

 Integrate 360 PT is the only certified Postural Restoration Institute (PRI) clinic in the St. Louis area (check out PRIs main website here). This physical therapy approach is holistic and preventative in nature. It focuses on restoring the body's musculoskeletal balance in the most complete way and teaching our patients to "fix themselves." We want to give you the tools to get yourself better and keep yourself feeling better for the rest of your lives. Our activities also transition from exercises to activities that you can naturally integrate into your daily life. That way, you don't spend the rest of your life doing your exercises! Your exercises seamlessly become incorporated into your life giving you the relief you want without another thing on your checklist.

5. Myth: Physical therapy isn't covered by insurance.

Fact: Most insurance policies cover some form of physical therapy. Beyond insurance coverage, physical therapy has proven to reduce costs by helping people avoid unnecessary imaging scans, surgery, or prescription drugs. Physical therapy can also lower costs by helping patients avoid falls or by addressing conditions before they become chronic.

Please contact us at 314-733-5000 or We can tell you more specifically what to expect in terms of cost and insurance coverage.

6. Myth: Surgery is my only option.

Fact: In many cases, physical therapy has been shown to be as effective as surgery in treating a wide range of conditions—from rotator cuff tears and degenerative disk disease, to meniscal tears and some forms of knee osteoarthritis. Those who have recently seen a physical therapist know this to be true, with 79% believing physical therapy can provide an alternative to surgery.

As stated above, even if you've been to other clinics before and not gotten your desired results, let Integrate 360's unique approach to rehabilitation help you reach your maximal potential without surgery. Remember, you can always have surgery later on if needed, but you can't "undo" an unnecessary or failed surgery. In our opinion, it's always best to exhaust conservative options before taking more extreme measures.

7. Myth: I can do physical therapy myself.

Fact: Your participation is key to a successful treatment plan, but every patient still needs the expert care and guidance of a licensed physical therapist. Your therapist will leverage his or her specialized education, clinical expertise, and the latest available evidence to evaluate your needs and make a diagnosis before creating an individualized plan of care.

Even if you're only interested in a few sessions to get you started on the right track, let the experts at Integrate 360 PT get you on the right path to achieving your goals!