National Physical Therapy Month

October is National Physical Therapy Month and this year we would like to focus on a very important and much discussed topic on how Physical Therapy can reduce the use of opioids.

No one wants to live with pain but no one should put their health at risk in an effort to be pain free. Since 1999, Americans have increasingly been prescribed pain opioids which are painkillers such as Vicodin, OxyContin,Opana, methodone, and combination drugs like Percocet.

In some situations, dosed appropriately, prescription opioids are an appropriate part of medical treatment. However, opioid risks include depression, overdose, addiction plus withdrawal symptoms when stopping use. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sales of prescription opioids have quadrupled in the United States the past 3 years. Nearly 2 million Americans, aged 12 or older, either abused or were dependent on prescription opioids in 2014.

The CDC is urging health care providers to reduce the use of opioids in favor of safe alternatives like Physical Therapy. Don’t just mask the pain. Treat it.

Do you know someone in pain? Encourage them to talk to their physician or physical therapist about safe ways to manage pain.

Patients should choose Physical Therapy when….

1. The risk of opioid use outweigh the rewards.

-Potential side effects of opioids include depression, overdose and addition plus withdrawal symptoms when stopping use.

2. Patients want to do more than mask the pain.

-Opioids reduce the sensation of pain by interrupting pain signals to the brain.

3. Opioids are prescribed for pain.

-Physical Therapists treat pain through movement while partnering with patients to improve function and quality of life.

Physical Therapy for pain management involves a variety of different techniques including:

-Movement and exercise

-Mobilization of joints

-Manual therapy/Trigger Point Dry Needling

-TENS unit/ultrasound therapy

-Hot/cold therapy

Our Physical Therapists will not only assist in improving daily movement but will also help you understand where the pain is coming from and why.  We can play a valuable role in the patient education process, including setting realistic expectations and goals. Before you agree to a prescription for opioids, consult with a PT to discuss options for an alternative treatment. Please give one of our 7 clinics a call and we would be happy to answer any of your questions.

Kaitlyn Grell, LPTA





October 12th, 2017

Posted In: General

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *