Copyright: Attila Barabas
These days the world of physical therapy is heavily saturated with the hot topic of opioid use.
From blog posts to hashtags, awareness of the opioid epidemic has spread wide and far. Different types of pills are not an uncommon prescription or recommendation to receive when experiencing any sort of pain.
When you’ve been prescribed pills your entire life, it may cause you to wonder why the sudden shift? Why should physical therapy be the first choice for pain treatment and management over opioids? We want to encourage using physical therapy as a tool for all things movement and function, and here’s why.
Don’t mask the pain, manage itAfter 90 days, consistent pain is considered chronic. Generally, opioid medications are recommended and prescribed because they certainly relieve pain. However, it is temporary and might as well be considered a mask.
When a patient wants to do more than simply cover up the pain for a little while, it’s time to choose physical therapy instead of opioids. Physical therapy exercises and activities are crafted for your unique needs. When dealing with chronic pain, the road to recovery might be long and it could be a while before noticing improvements. However, any small success is worth celebrating because it implies progress. Through the many activities performed in physical therapy, pain is more easily managed.
Long term risks vs. long term resultsIt should come as no surprise that opioids have many long-term risks as you continue to use them to mask any pain. Nausea and vomiting, liver and brain damage, developing a tolerance and ultimately becoming dependent on opioids are a few examples of long-term effects, to name a few.
Rather than putting yourself at risk to these long-term dangers, it makes more sense to seek long-term results with the use of physical therapy.
PreventionUtilizing what physical therapy has to offer is the best way to live a preventative lifestyle whether at work or home. When you begin learning the benefits of things such as proper ergonomics and stretching – you’ll wonder why you didn’t switch sooner! Avoiding further injury is our personal goal to help others improve their well-being.
The choice between opioids and physical therapy is a simple one. While physical therapy may have its challenges, its benefits will easily outweigh any difficulties. If you’re interested in making the shift to physical therapy and you’re unsure where to begin, give us a call.
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