Does Physical Therapy From Youtube Work?

“I learned it on YouTube!” has become a part of our cultural dialogue, but there are some topics where it should not apply. One of these topics is physical therapy (also known as physiotherapy). Physical therapy is the targeted exercises and routines that help improve mobility, function, balance, and other markers of physical health. This is especially true if you seek out physical therapy Falls Church, VA offers from AmeriWell Clinics. It can be used by people of all ages for a wide range of conditions, injuries, and health goals. Properly planned and executed, it can be an important part of gaining or maintaining good physical condition and quality of life.

However, as with all types of physical activity, if it is not well suited to your body, condition, or specific challenges, physical therapy-type actions and activities can worsen problems. For example, if you were to have shoulder surgery, you might want to do exercises that allow you to regain strength and range of motion after you’ve healed. 

Perhaps you’re hesitant to book an appointment with an unknown therapist, or maybe you just don’t want to make time during your busy day. Instead of meeting with a qualified physical therapist, you open up YouTube on your phone and search “physical therapy exercises”. The results go on for what feels like forever, so you pick one that looks likely. The description even says that it’s targeted towards people who are recovering from shoulder surgery. As you start the exercises, you notice that there is pain and resistance in your shoulder. But you’re expecting recovery to be difficult, so you ignore the discomfort and push on. You do this for a while, but the pain only gets worse. Maybe you develop other aches, too. During your next checkup, your doctor points out that there is more inflammation than expected and asks what you’ve been doing.

Worst-Case Scenario

The exercises you thought were helping you were actually causing damage to your already vulnerable joint. Instead of aiding in your recovery, the DIY approach to physical therapy has actually delayed your healing. 

Remember, physical therapists are licensed musculoskeletal professionals. Since 2005, physical therapists have been required to earn a Doctorate of Physical Therapy. Before, we had to receive a Bachelor’s Degree in a related field of study. If anyone on YouTube was qualified to teach targeted stretches and exercises to increase mobility, degrees and years of schooling wouldn’t be required. Today, PTs can be front and center in emergency rooms and intensive care units. So it’s always best to consult an expert rather than a stranger on YouTube who can’t diagnose your specific ailments. 

A Better Way

Physical therapy certification requires years of schooling and experience precisely because it’s vital to tailor each regimen to an individual’s requirements and limitations. A qualified physical therapist can help support your health and quality of life by using their knowledge to assess your unique situation and formulate a plan that suits you specifically. They will also be able to evaluate your progress and make any adjustments necessary to encourage improvement and minimize any chances of causing further problems. These are just some of the reasons why you should choose a qualified physical therapy doctor, such as one from AmeriWell Clinics