Why Physical Therapy is the Safest Pain Alternative

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Why Physical Therapy is the Safest Pain Alternative

Often, patients are prescribed pain relief medicine or seek out over-the-counter pain relief options because they think that it’s their only and best option. This mind set can be dangerous, as we have seen with the ongoing opioid crisis. The CDC cites that 70,000 people died from a drug overdose in the United States. This is the main cause of injury-related deaths reported and almost 70 percent of those being related to opioids. This makes the role of physical therapy more important now than ever.


When a Patient Should Choose PT

“I have been suffering from pain long term.”

Long term pain includes any pain lasting over a few months. Pain of any kind should not be ignored, but treated. If a patient is suffering from chronic pain, medications are only serving as a bandaid. Physical therapy can help get to the core of the pain and develop a treatment plan to reduce or eliminate the pain entirely.


Did you know?

 50 million adult Americans suffer from chronic pain each year.


“I have recurrent joint pain.”

Often, patients with joint pain or arthritis of any kind have difficulty moving and stretching the joints. Instead of covering up the discomfort, a physical therapist can demonstrate stretching techniques and strengthening exercises to reduce the pressure on the impacted joints. They may even use manual therapy which helps loosen those tight areas.


“I am overweight and am in daily pain.”

Many times those who are in daily pain are really suffering because they are overweight. Being overweight puts excessive pressure on parts of the body that aren’t meant to hold that much weight. It can also cause patients to overcompensate by using other muscles to help carry the weight, causing more pain. This is often mistaken for other injuries resulting in patients being prescribed medicinal pain relief.


“I just had surgery.”

Many patients are sent home with some kind of opioids after surgery. It would be recommended for them to limit the amount they take and supplement with physical therapy. Physical therapy can help them to regain mobility and strengthen the recovering areas with a long-term focus.


“I am emotionally impacted by my injury and pain.”

When patients become depressed about their pain, it can cause a dangerous slope towards addiction to opioids. They may believe that medications are the only way they can feel somewhat like themselves again. Physical therapists are able to dismantle those feelings by showing techniques to manage pain. They are able to educate patients on proper body mechanics and how this pain is often caused. Once the patient is able to identify and manage pain triggers, they'll find relief in knowing that there’s a way to return to their normal lives without medicine.


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