In recent years, there has been a widespread of Opioid usage throughout the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there has been a 12% increase in drug-related overdoses from 2014-2015, and 63% of them have been from Opioid usage alone. Unfortunately, while prescriptions for Opioids has increased, there has not been any significant change in the amount of pain Americans report.
In an effort to tailor this growing epidemic, in 2016, the CDC created Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids. The guidelines state that there are many cases where Opioids are appropriate, such as Cancer related illness, specific acute care, etc.. However, they also report that risks to opioid usage include addiction, overdose, depression and severe anxiety, on-going substance abuse, and more. Additionally, according to the CDC, those who use prescription opioids are 40 times more susceptible to heroin addiction. There are also major costs implications pressing the United States to pay into the billions annually to manage the prescription pain medications. Overall, the dangers of opioid usage far outways the temporary benefits. Therefore, in attempt to fix this issue, the CDC encourages non drug alternative solutions to pain management, and the number one recommendation is physical therapy.
Benefits of Physical Therapy Versus Opioid Use
Currently, it is estimated ⅓ of Americans (116 million) live with chronic pain. Sadly, this can severely limit the quality of life of an individual. Performing daily activities and hobbies becomes daunting. However, unfortunate as it may seem, there is great hope. Through the personal guidance and prescribed exercise therapy by physical therapists, it has been shown to reduce pain and improve function in people suffering from either chronic low back pain, fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis of the knee and hip. Because physical therapy can make you stronger and help you move and feel better, it is often one of the best choices you can make when you have long-term pain or an injury. Below are five major ways that working with a Physical Therapist is a better choice for recovery over prescription medication treatment. Below are five supportive reasons:
- Take time to listen – In order to achieve success, we first need to understand the root to the underlying issue. Where is the persistent pain coming from? What is the history of injury?
- Administer treatment for successful outcome – PTs administrer personalized treatments that include strength, flexibility and movement training, manual therapy, posture awareness and body mechanics instruction.
- Educate on the science behind coping – Physical Therapists help educate patients on pain science and teach them how to better cope with their condition.
- Little risk or harm involved in physical therapy – Physical Therapy prescribes movement and exercise interventions. These solutions do not put a patient at risk of relying on prescription opioids.
- Personalized treatment – The greatest benefit of Physical Therapy is the opportunity for one-on-one personalized treatment and relationship. PT is a more meaningful way for patients to recover that cannot be provided by opioid treatment.
The partnership between Physical Therapist and patient is extremely vital for a successful journey to overcoming pain and boundaries for patients, in order to do what they love with less suffering. Through physical therapy, patients can seek healing and recovery to achieve their normal lifestyle, work and recreational activity.
For more information on the power of physical therapy on how to manage chronic pain, and for a personalized consultation, connect with us at Apex Physical Therapy today!
-Apex Physical Therapy