Choose P.T. for Drug Free Pain Relief
It’s tough for a caregiver to see a loved one in pain. It is a helpless feeling sometimes. Too often, caregivers seek out the quickest and easiest solution for pain relief: get a prescription opioid pain pill. There are better solutions to pain, however.
Earlier this year, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that health care providers prescribe opioid drugs “only if expected benefits for both pain relief and function are anticipated to outweigh the risks to the patient.”
Before prescribing opioids, doctors are urged to ask if non-opioid therapies have been tried first. Physical therapy is one of those better solutions. Why? When physical therapy is used for pain relief, there is no chance of overdosing or addictions to opioid drugs.
The Risks of Opioids
You probably did not realize that more than 1,000 people are treated in emergency departments for misusing prescription opioid medicines every day in this country. Since 1999, more than 165,000 people in the United States have died from opioid pain-medication-related overdoses. As many as 1 in 4 people who receive prescription opioids long term for non-cancer pain. Many develop problems with addiction, according to the CDC.
Since 1999, sales of prescription opioids have nearly quadrupled, and deaths from overdosing of opioids have quadrupled also. And the addiction to drugs continues because patients addicted to prescription opioids are forty times more likely to become addicted to heroin. For more statistics about America’s opioid epidemic, see the website of the American Physical Therapy Association
Benefits of P.T.
Physical therapy can be helpful for many serious and painful conditions. They include arthritis, lower back pain, knee osteoarthritis and degenerative disc disease. Physical therapists encourage patients to be as mobile as much as possible. This can reduce obesity, guard against heart disease, and build independence. Therapists can also advise the patient about equipment such as wheelchairs, walkers, and canes, and show the patient how to use these properly. Therapists often advise patients how to use heat, ice and positioning to reduce pain, thus eliminating the expense and risks of using pain pills.
Do You Think Physical Therapy Could Help?
You can arrange a screening by a physical therapist no matter what state you live in or what insurance you may have. Treatment by a physical therapist requires a prescription for therapy by a physician, however. When you visit your doctor, discuss your pain with your physician. Askyou doctor “Do you think physical therapy could help me? Can we try that first?” You will probably be pleased with the results of physical therapy. Also, you could avoid the costs and risks of using prescription medications for pain.