Physiatrist (Physical Medicine) Questions Physiatrist

Is it safe to do physical therapy before being diagnosed?

I have been in pain in my lower back since February. I want to get physical therapy. Is it safe to do physical therapy before being diagnosed?

10 Answers

Most likely yes! Was there a specific event or injury that caused your pain? If so, I would see a doctor first. However, it is most likely due to repetitive movements, poor posture or inactivity over time. If that is the case, I would go directly to PT.
Yes, it is safe to go to physical therapy before being diagnosed. They can give you exercises that can help you with your pain.
Yes. But if you have gone 3-4 weeks with limited improvement, get evaluated & get a good quality (3 Tesla) MRI. Don’t just bandaid it.
A definitive diagnosis is best before treatment but Physical therapy done well carries very little risk
In certain states in the US, you have direct access to a Physical Therapist. You can walk in without a referral and receive evaluation for the management of your condition for 6 weeks. The PT is obligated to refer you appropriately if your symptoms remain unresolved within that time frame.
Doctor's referral is preferred, but in most cases, it will take a longer time, especially with the current situation. So, yes, it’s safe. Your PT will help diagnose your problem and make recommendations based on that.


Dr. Ramky Kavaserry, DPT
Physical therapy is very helpful to many people. Many physical therapists need a referral from a MD, DC or DO. There are several chiropractors that specialize in rehabilitation and you don't need to go to another doctor before hand. Chiropractors evaluate, diagnose conditions dealing with the neuromusculoskeletal system, and treatment. Chiropractors can order or do any necessary imaging, if needed, for diagnosis purposes.
Good morning

Physical Therapy is safe to get as the Physical Therapist is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and will do an evaluation before any treatment plan is proposed. If they feel it's something that needs to be looked at more further, they will advise and recommend you to see a specialist to get further evaluated and/or get diagnostic testing done.
Thank you.
You have to see doctors such as PCP or a chiropractor to get proper diagnosis before you see therapist.
Physical Therapy will assist with your medical diagnosis. You will be diagnosed with a PT diagnosis by the attending PT. Then you should receive a treatment plan tailored to your case and presentation. Good luck