Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a neuromuscular disorder, characterized mainly by progressive muscle loss. Physical therapy plays an important role in SMA treatment; however, there are many myths out there about the practice and its benefits. The American Physiotherapy Association has useful information to set some of these myths straight.
You need a referral to be able to see a physical therapist. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need a referral to be evaluated by a physical therapist. However, some states have restrictions on the treatment a physical therapist can provide without a referral.
It’s painful. Many people avoid visiting a physical therapist because they’re worried it’s going to be painful. The objective of physical therapy is to reduce a patient’s pain, and the therapist works within the patient’s pain threshold to do so.
It’s only for accidents and injuries. Physical therapists are also skilled at anticipating problems before they worsen; they don’t just manipulate and stretch injured muscles.