You’ve seen the headlines. You know that opioids are the major driver behind the widespread drug crisis in America — but you might not understand why.
If you or a loved one has chronic pain, you may be feeling frustrated and confused about your options, especially after reading about the opioid crisis in America.
We’re here to let you know there is a much safer, healthier option for pain relief: physical therapy.
At our physical therapy clinic, we stand with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other professional organizations that recommend physical therapy and other alternatives over prescription opioids for the management of chronic pain.
Many people simply don’t realize just how effective physical therapy can be for alleviating common ailments such as back pain, neck pain, and shoulder pain. There are so many techniques a physical therapist can perform to alleviate a person’s pain, all without the need for drugs or invasive procedures.
We’re happy to show you exactly how physical therapy can help you start feeling (and functioning) better than ever.
What is so risky about opioids?
When people turn to over-the-counter medications to help ease pain, there aren’t many significant health risks. It is important to note that opioids and over-the-counter drugs are very different.
Over-the-counter medications such as Advil, Tylenol, and Ibuprofen are safe to use in moderation if you are trying to find immediate relief when recovering from your car accident or occasional headache.
However, if you are experiencing more severe pain from a more serious injury you may have sustained, prescription-strength medications may be issued to you from your primary care physician. It’s important to know that with severe pain comes severe medication, as well.
Even though opioids are the most commonly used medication for pain management across America, there are quite a few shockingly harmful facts you may want to know about them.
- About a quarter of heroin addicts began their addiction through prescription opioid dependency.
- Opioids are a highly dangerous class of substances. Heroin is among the opioid category, as well as prescription pain relievers like oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, and more.
- More than 2 million people in the United States become addicted to pain medication every year, many of the medications being opioids.
Although these facts are disturbing, they cannot be ignored. You don’t need to have a history of addiction to become dependent on opioids. Many people who become addicted have never had any issues with drug dependency in the past.
Fortunately, physical therapy can help provide the same pain relief in a much safer, healthier, and natural way.
5 reasons to choose physical therapy over opioids
Physical therapy can help you govern your pain without drugs, giving you a chance to break away from your reliance on opioids. Here are five excellent reasons to look into physical therapy for long term pain relief instead of depending on medications to relieve your pain temporarily.
1. Physical therapy offers more than one kind of treatment. When you see a physical therapist for pain relief, you’re not going to just get one type of treatment.
You’ll receive multiple services that complement each other and enhance their overall effectiveness, such as manual therapy, ultrasound therapy, and more. The result? A cost-effective and comprehensive healing journey for you!
2 Physical therapy provides one-on-one care. Physical therapy is an active experience that puts you back in the driver’s seat of your health. Unlike many other healthcare providers who are limited on time, physical therapists have a lot of face-to-face interaction with their patients and can take the time to get to know their goals, demands, and preferences. There is no cookie-cutter treatment plan in physical therapy.
Physical therapists want patients to be engaged in their plans of care, educated about their health condition, and equipped with home exercises, stretches, and other lifestyle modifications needed to optimize results.
3. Physical therapy provides another way to get exercise. Research tells us that exercise is one of the best ways to manage chronic pain. But if a person is in so much pain they can barely get out of bed, how are they supposed to start exercising more? That’s right, physical therapy!
A physical therapist can manage your pain condition and its contributing factors, such as range of motion limitations, tissue tension, weakness, and incoordination, that make exercise difficult for you. By helping you get more exercise—and showing you which exercises are best for you, as well as how to do them correctly—a physical therapist also helps you reduce the risk of other chronic diseases such as cancer
4. Therapy both stimulates healing and eases pain and tension. A physical therapist is trained in techniques such as joint mobilizations and manipulations, massage, and myofascial release.
These techniques, when performed correctly, can trigger physical and physiological changes in the body’s connective tissues, central nervous system, lymphatic system, and more. They have been proven to relieve pain and elicit healing responses that can keep pain from coming back.
5. Physical therapy is non-invasive, drug-free, and safe. The risk of experiencing side effects with the above-mentioned modalities is minimal to none, and unlike drugs, they won’t pose the risk of dependency or withdrawal. They simply enhance your body’s natural self-healing capability (instead of just “masking” the pain).
Physical therapists utilize tools like diathermy, dry needling, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, and other techniques to reduce pain, muscle spasms, inflammation, and more.
Through extensive training, a physical therapist can ensure these techniques are applied with the correct dosage (intensity, location, type, duration, and frequency) for optimal outcomes.
Are you tired of living in pain? Are you ready to kick the prescription medications?
It doesn’t matter what caused your pain. If you’re dependent on prescription medications for pain relief, and you want to find another way to manage your symptoms, we invite you to schedule an appointment at SportsCare Physical Therapy today.