Physical Therapy Offers a Safe and Natural Solution to Pain
Have you been experiencing disruptive pain, lasting for over six months? If so, you likely have a chronic pain condition. Unfortunately, this type of pain is relatively common. In fact, a 2016 report published by the CDC estimated that around 20.4% of U.S. adults experience chronic pain.
Whether your pain is from an accident or an ongoing medical condition, we at Synergy Manual Physical Therapy understand that living with harsh aches and pains can be extremely difficult. If you’ve already tried non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDS without finding relief, you might feel as if your last option is to turn to opioids.
However, opioids can lead to more problems than solutions. With the possibility of addiction and even fatal overdose, this method of “pain relief” can be incredibly dangerous. Thankfully, natural and safe pain-relieving techniques can be found in physical therapy. Contact our office today to learn how we can quickly relieve your pain, without the use of drugs.
Why are opioids prescribed?
Opioids are a powerful type of medication used to treat moderate to severe pain. Examples of opioid medications include oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, and codeine. A few situations where opioid medications could reasonably be prescribed include:
- Cancer – A large variety of cancers, and their subsequent treatments can be extremely painful to experience.
- Post Surgery – Many people are in severe pain immediately following a surgical procedure. Opioids are often prescribed immediately after the surgery. Even after the initial few days, recovering from surgery can be a long and painful process for some individuals.
- Chronic Health Conditions – There are several types of chronic conditions, such as severe back pain, neck pain, nerve damage, and fibromyalgia that can cause ongoing pain.
- Car Accidents – An individual may be struggling with pain due to injuries received in an automobile accident. Some people may be suffering from more than one broken bone or laceration following an accident which can increase the amount of pain they’re experiencing.
- Work-Related Injuries – Everything from serious back issues to falls can occur on the job. Many people may feel the need to return to work as quickly as possible because of financial needs. In order to handle the pain while still working, they turn to opioids.
Why should I opt for physical therapy instead of opioids?
While opioids are effective at reducing severe pain, there are significant risks associated with their use. There are several compelling reasons to consider a physical therapy program rather than relying on this class of drugs, including:
- Your risk of addiction is high. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine (U.S. NLM), “Misuse of prescription opioids and heroin affects more than 2 million Americans and an estimated 15 million people worldwide each year.” As you can see from this alarming statistic, it can be extremely easy to become addicted to opioids.
- Withdrawal symptoms. Continued opioid use causes the human body to develop dependence. So, when people try to stop taking the drug, they are met with the physical and psychological symptoms of withdrawal (such as muscle cramping, diarrhea, and anxiety).
- Opioids only provide temporary relief. Unlike physical therapy treatment, opioids never treat the root issue of your pain. They only temporarily mask your painful symptoms. Through movement, massage, and other techniques, a physical therapist can address the issues that are directly causing your pain and provide long-term relief.
- The cost of treatment. Relying on opioid pills for years can be very expensive. And since these medications do not treat the actual cause of your pain, there is no end in sight for when you could stop using them.
- The risk of a fatal overdose. According to the U.S. NLM, “Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death in U.S. adults under age 50, and opioids account for more than half of all drug overdose deaths.”
What treatments will I receive in physical therapy?
During your first physical therapy appointment, your therapist may conduct an evaluation of your current condition and ask to review your medical history.
Once the source of your pain is found, your personalized treatment plan can then be developed. Depending on your current fitness level and recovery goals, your treatment plan could include modalities such as:
- Exercise Therapy. The exercises you may be prescribed in physical therapy will be developed after an initial physical evaluation is completed. Your exercises will likely promote pain reduction and strengthen your muscle groups.
- Manual Therapy. This is a hands-on physical therapy approach that might include massage, mobilization, and techniques to strengthen the muscles, joints, and ligaments.
- Heat and Ice Therapy. A physical therapist can use both heat and ice to soothe muscles and joints and eliminate pain.
- Ultrasound – Ultrasound treatment applies deep heat to the joints. This type of treatment can improve blood circulation, improve flexibility, reduce pain, and accelerate healing.
- Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, or TENS. This modality can trigger a completely natural analgesic effect by stimulating specific sensory nerve fibers. This lessens the sensation of pain and releases neurotransmitters that prolong the pain-relieving effects.
These are only a few of the many methods that trained physical therapists can use to combat pain and help an individual return to a healthy, productive life. If you have been searching for a way to improve your chronic pain without the use of prescription drugs or invasive surgeries, consider starting physical therapy today.
Contact Synergy Manual Physical Therapy today to get started!
You deserve to live freely, without the constant distraction of chronic pain. At our clinic, our skilled team of therapists will work with you to create a treatment plan that perfectly aligns with your needs and does not expose you to the dangerous risks of opioid use.
Your road to a pain-free life is finally in sight. Contact our office today to learn more about your recovery options.