Are you searching for a method of natural pain relief? Try physical therapy!
Long-term opioid use is not a good strategy for chronic pain management. In addition to the risk of addiction, opioids only mask the painful symptoms of a larger problem.
Physical therapy has been shown to be a much better alternative than opioids or other pharmaceutical medications for achieving measurable relief from chronic pain.
If you have been considering using opioids for pain relief, but wish to explore alternate options first, contact our office today to speak with a physical therapist.
Discover lasting methods of pain management with PT
According to a Stanford University study, patients with musculoskeletal pain who attended physical therapy immediately after their diagnosis reduced the need for opioid pain prescriptions by 7 to 16 percent. And among the patients who did require opioids, the duration of the treatment period was reduced by as much as 10 percent.
Physical therapy helps patients target the underlying cause of their pain rather than just mask symptoms with medication.
If you have arthritis or any other type of chronic pain, a physical therapist can show you the proper ways to move and use major muscle groups. This will ensure that the condition causing your pain will not worsen.
Physical therapy also aims to strengthen the muscle groups that support aching or painful regions of the body, allowing for sustainable recovery.
In most cases, choosing to pursue physical therapy will not provide an immediate solution to your pain. But your physical therapist will create a personalized plan that will result in measurable pain reduction.
The work you do in PT will be focused on curing the source of the pain, which means you can often eliminate the need for prescription painkillers or opioids down the line.
Protect yourself from the dangers of opioids
In the past two decades, the opioid prescription rate and the number of deaths from opioid overdoses have quadrupled. Given this alarming data, it’s impossible to ignore the obvious conclusion: we need to rethink our reliance on prescription drugs for pain relief or the consequences will be deadly.
A study published by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), titled “Beyond Opioids: How Physical Therapy Can Transform Pain Management and Improve Health,” exhaustively analyzed the opioid epidemic and identified the three phases of this fatal issue. There are as follows:
- Increases in deaths involving prescription opioids starting in 1999
- Increases in deaths involving heroin starting in 2010
- Increases in deaths involving synthetic opioids since 2013
Beyond extreme physical danger, overuse of prescription painkillers has additional detrimental effects on your health, including withdrawal symptoms and depression. These side effects encourage a vicious cycle of self-medicating in order to temporarily “feel better” emotionally and physically.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also released some frightening statistics related to opioid overuse in 2011:
- Sales of prescription painkillers to pharmacies and providers increased 300% from 1999 to 2011
- In 2010, 12 million people ages 12 and older reported using prescription painkillers “non-medically”
- More than 40 people died each day from overdoses involving prescription opioids in 2011
Thankfully, as the APTA study indicates, physical therapy is a safer alternative to opioid use. If you have been struggling with pain or discomfort and are in search of a safe treatment path, contact us today!
What can physical therapy do that prescription drugs can’t?
The opioid epidemic in America has accelerated to the point that the CDC now recommends that opioids only be considered as a “last option” for patients in severe pain.
It is true that alternative and holistic pain relief methods, like physical therapy, do not target pain as quickly as opioids. But with these methods, you can avoid the extreme risks of addiction and overdose.
Anyone who suffers from a chronic pain condition should know that opioids cannot address the root cause of that pain, and therefore, do not provide a lasting solution to discomfort. In fact, opioids can even worsen the original problem.
For example, imagine a person has been experiencing persistent pain for several months following a shoulder surgery, long after the surgical site has healed.
Pain is how our bodies let us know that something is wrong. If the patient takes opioids to expel all pain, they won’t know what their body is trying to communicate and run the risk of reinjuring themselves.
If that same patient were to consult a physical therapist, it is far more likely that they could continuously lessen their pain while ensuring little to no chance of reinjury. Our PT office treats patients like this all the time, and we achieve safe and natural results through manual therapies, proper exercise, body mechanics, and posture work.
Achieve safe and sustainable pain relief today!
If you live with chronic pain and are interested in learning more about how physical therapy can help, call our office today to consult with a licensed physical therapist.